"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

How I Met My Spouse: Jamie's Challenge

Okay, here's to Jamie's challenge. I put it off because I always feel dumb telling this story, at least the beginning. It just sounds better if my husband (who I call Jed---well, I don't call him Jed. On my blog, he is Jed.) tells it. These are the tidbits, here and there of how we've interacted over the past 23 years (I know, it makes us sound old). Some of the exact years are guesses.

1984:

These are our first grade pictures. We "met" the summer before this school year.

Jed's family moved to Camarillo from Ohio/Pennsylvania. We were six years old. According to him, his Primary class sat behind my Primary class since I was a Star B and he was a CTR A, or whatever we were back then. He noticed me, thought I was cute and said to himself he was going to marry that girl.

At some point, while driving around town he'd pick out houses that we would live in when we were married.

His older brother, dad and he wanted to go on a bike ride. My husband, (already obsessed with maps), had looked up my street, C----ton, and suggested they ride to it. His brother thought he meant Croydon, which was just a couple of streets over and thought his little brother was being wimpy.

We were a year apart in school, lived in different cities, were in the same ward, but in different Primary classes. I just sort of knew who he was. He was tall, skinny and blonde. He read a lot, and had a really big mole on the side of his neck.

1985:
My mom was Primary President so I attended my husband's baptism with her. He claims to remember thinking that it would be pretty cool to tell our kids one day that Mommy was at Daddy's baptism.

1986:
He has my old phone number 987-4135 written in his journal. At some point, I'm thinking around 3rd or 4th grade, we got a 386 phone number.

This is the first picture of us together. The legs and tutu on the stage are me, performing at a Halloween ward talent show, or something. The curly, colorful back of a clown head is my husband, watching me. We were probably nine.

1987:
When we were in Virginia visiting my husband's sister over spring break she pulled out a journal entry she had come across. She was a teenager and my husband walked past and told her to write in her journal that he was going to marry [my name]. (She's supposed to be making a copy of this to send to us. I'll have to remind her.)

1990: (age 12)
Jed was convinced for awhile that I had the hots for him as well. (Which would be great for the sake of the story, but sadly was not true). He has a journal entry about how our eyes met across the chapel during Sacrament meeting and I smiled at him, or something of that sort. I don't remember it.

1992:
This picture is me at 8th grade graduation.
During recess at my school, my husband had a kid from church a year younger than us, come tell me that [my husband's full name] had a crush on me. I was sort of like, "oh, okay." According to my husband, he was laying things in motion for us finally being at the same school the following year when we started high school when he would make his move and I would be his girlfriend.

1992:
We are in the same Freshman Orientation class for high school. (Cristin, I wish I could track down all our ID cards like you did. They are in a box... somewhere.)

I was quiet and shy and didn't really know anyone, he took advantage of that and sat by me in seminary the next week figuring I wouldn't ask him to leave. I sort of remember appreciating that. I didn't really know him either, but he was a familiar face, and that's what I needed.

Alphabetically, we were sort of seated next to each other in Mr. Wagner's Freshman Health class. We flirted. He tickled me. He asked me out (like 9th graders going out... then, not now. So basically it involved talking on the phone, passing notes, talking to our friends about each other, and possibly holding hands) a lot. I said no, a lot. He remembers dates better, but eventually I said yes. We went out (everything up to hand holding) for a few weeks. I broke up with him. I felt guilty "going out" with someone when I wasn't supposed to "date" until I was 16. Plus we had become really good friends, and I didn't want that to be ruined. It ended up ruined, for awhile.

Most of our sophomore and junior years of high school we didn't speak. I say it was his choice. He says it was mine. Basically we were both upset about something trivial, he said if I wanted he'd leave me alone, I didn't say anything. We stopped talking.

1995:
It's the end of our junior year. I've missed him as a friend. I'd even told my best friend Jenny that he was the only boy I could see myself marrying. I write him a lame note and leave it under the windshield wiper of his truck.

That summer he is away at a creative writing workshop/conference in Santa Clarita, CA. He writes me letters. When he comes back, his hair is blue . . . like smurf blue (see picture below).

Our friendship is rekindled. Our first kiss was November 13, 1995. We date, pretty seriously for high school seniors, but then he's always been convinced we'd get married.

1996:


Backwards Homecoming and Prom 1996
My senior picture His picture in the yearbook

I turn 18 and leave for BYU the same day. Long Distance relationship ensues.

1997:
He leaves on his mission in February. He isn't set apart as a missionary yet, so we get to kiss goodbye in Provo. I see him off at the MTC with my best friend Angela and my now mother-in-law. I've never cried so much in my entire life as I did as soon as I stepped into my apartment after saying goodbye to him.


Standing in two states or counties at once, or something.

Here's another part of the story I don't like. Basically, I dear johned him. Sort of for another boy (on a mission, out more recently than my husband - he will make sure that gets in there). Sort of because I had feelings for someone else and didn't want to lead my husband on if things were turning in another direction. Sort of because I didn't really know how to have a boyfriend on a mission. Sort of because he wanted to get married a month after he got home and that freaked me out a tiny bit.

1998:
He gets home from his mission in December. I call him. I had still written him sort of frequently for the rest of his mission, wanting to preserve a friendship that meant a lot to me.

1999:
He is up at BYU. We see each other. He takes me out for... a bagel, a smoothie, I can't remember the details. I remember wanting to look hot for this "date," but in a, "but I don't want to date you" kind of way. Why are we all so dumb before we get married? Apparently at the end of this date he says something like, "so I'll see you around." I respond with, "Yeah, if you ever get lost or need help getting around, let me know." He takes this as a blowing off since he's like a walking atlas. I don't remember this conversation. I assume I was trying to be clever and funny, knowing that he is a walking atlas, but not really knowing what to say or how to act around him.

He dates and is engaged to another girl. I hear this through a mutual friend from home I run into on campus. It freaks me out a bit that he's moved on so quickly. But I didn't want to date him, or marry him. I didn't really know what I wanted.

We don't really see each other or talk. The other boy I was writing comes home. Nothing happens. I see Jed on campus and just sort of say hi awkwardly. I'm getting ready to student teach and graduate.

2000:
He emails me a happy birthday note. I haven't talked to him in a long time. He's never emailed me. We start exchanging friendly emails.

I student teach in the Fall of 2000. I'm pretty much in my own student teaching bubble, only really socializing with the people I live with because they are there and it's easier than trying to keep up with other friends. He emails me and we talk on the phone a lot. I call him to take him to a playoff football game my high school students are playing in in Orem. He isn't home. I go alone.

Right before Christmas he asks if we can hang out while we are home in California. I'm sort of vague about things. When in California I always feel extra awkward around him, especially if other people are present. Like everyone is watching us with the knowledge of what we once were, and where we are now. So he tries to talk to me at church and I sort of blow him off. Mostly because I feel like 800 eyes ( I'm paranoid) are watching our every move.

Eventually he talks me into going to a New Year's Eve Party with him at his friend Pat's. We don't kiss at Midnight. He just sort of squeezes my hand. It's sort of weird to be back in a high school friend scenario when we're barely friends again and last time they saw us together we were making out while they all got drunk. We play a game of darts, which I win. He tickles me. We kiss.

I had moved home after finishing my student teaching. He had gotten kicked out of BYU for bad grades (not honor code violations like people always assume when one mentions he was kicked out of BYU). He goes back to Utah, goes to the temple, prays about moving home, and decides it's what he needs to do. He moves home. At this point, the decision to date him for me is essentially the decision to marry him because if I was going to date him, we were going to get married. That's how obvious it was in my mind.

2001:
February 10 - he proposes with a ring on the steps of the San Buenaventura Mission in Ventura, CA.


This isn't the exact engagement picture. But you get the point.

April 28 - we're married in the Los Angeles California Temple


2007:
We celebrated our 6 year anniversary.

This picture is from November of 2006.



8 comments:

Jamie said...

I love it. I remember when people were like, "What? Brandon and Nancy? She doesn't like him!" You guys did a pretty good job of keeping it under wraps from all the gossipy mothers in the ward or something. I knew a little of the story, but it's nice to hear all the fun details. I love the picture of the clown head and the tutu legs, and your 8th grade graduation picture. I also like how your remark to him about him looking you up if he got lost or something was taken as a blow off. Your family picture is really, really cute!

Cristin Lassen said...

That's a great story. So, Brandon was really engaged to another girl?? Did I read that right? I never knew that, I'll have to ask Erik for the details. Anyway, the pictures are GREAT. Especially the smurf hair.

A Random Stranger said...

Whoa! I'm on a computer at school and someone changed the font to Cyrillic. I can't read any of the instructions! Luckily, I know which box is for my user name and which is for my password.
First point: I took you out for a smoothie AND a bagel. I'm not cheap, you know.
Second point: I took you to some Orrin Hatch dinner during the Relief Society broadcast when they told you not to have more than two earrings.
Third point: you're totally hot! Woo hoo! Hubba hubba! Hotchie motchie! And so on.

Nance said...

You're right. I forgot about the Orrin Hatch thing. Too bad we never tracked down the picture of us with Orrin Hatch on that sort of date.

AshbyFamily said...

Great Story...Brandon and Megan Johnson are the first people that befriended me when I moved to Camarillo one day before our freshman year. He took me to seminary and introduced me to his friends even you. Happy you are together and have a great life!

Leslie (Lake) Ashby

Erik said...

Hey Nancy,
I always thought you Dear John'd brandon on his mission because he sent you a certian picture that involved a birthday hat.... hmmm to bad that picture didn't make it into this writeup.

Similar to the Party Hat incident, the first time Cristin really met the two of you, it was a few months after you guys had been married, and we were just starting to date. I had this great Idea of taking Cristin Swimming at Pat's house, so I could check her out in a swim suit, and Brandon decides to steal the show by wearing a Leopard print thong.... yea, so instead of my future wife to be check me out with my shirt off, she is checkin out Brandon in his buttless briefs. Good Times, good times.

Lori said...

What a great story! You have a great blog.

Heather Payne said...

I want the record to reflect that I had to ride my bike all the way from my house to yours so that he could "drop in on you" to see if you were home. I talked to your sister, you guys barely acknowledged each other, and then I had to ride all the way home. It is good to know my sacrifices for your relationship weren't in vain.

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