Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Father's Day Miracle

First, I want to tell you a joke. It is one of the few jokes of its nature that I actually find amusing. More on that in a bit.

So this guy asks Jane on a date. She is SO excited. He comes to pick her up and as he's walking her to his car she realizes she has to fart SO BAD. He opens her door and she gets in the car, and as he walks around to his side, she lets it rip loud and hard. Whew! He gets in the car and says, gesturing to the back seat, "This is Bob and Sarah, they're doubling with us tonight." Jane turns around and sees a guy and girl looking a little green around the gills.

Heh. So yeah, I don't do "potty humor." I am a bit of a prude in that way, but I had an experience tonight that has changed my perspective forever...

First of all...


I don't know about you, but I have a great dad. He is one of the hardest working men I know: at work, at church, and at home. Besides that, he's like a big teddy bear that loves his kids like crazy and shows it in so many ways. An example of this was a moment when I was visiting home last month. My dad came home from Youth Conference and was sharing an experience where he was comparing one of his kids to ME and as he started talking about how proud he is of me he burst into tears. It was really sweet. That's my daddy.

Anyway, tonight I was celebrating Father's Day with my FUTURE father-in-law! Greg and I had dinner with his family and were playing games. So here's how that perspective changing tale went...

It was a riveting game of golf (Greg wrote that first line :) he's great). That would be the card game, not the one with clubs. Greg's sisters and parents faced us across the table, Greg and I beside each other. The game was proceeding as could be expected. Shuffling, dealing, drawing, discarding. playing---you get the drill.

There we sat in good family companionship when BAM! In the midst of a friendly family rapport, someone let one rip. It was shocking. It was loud. It was me.

I was mortified.

What had I done!!? I barely knew these people! My life was over! I'd have to change my name and move and find a new fiance and family to start over with. I'd ruined my chances with these people. I saw their heads turn slowly in our direction. Then it happened. Something I was not expecting. Their eyes slid past me and landed on Greg.

"Ewwww, Greg!" says Kilie.

"Come on, Greg! Really?!" his mom said.

Really? I thought. Were they really blaming it on Greg? I looked at him to see what his reaction was and he just shook his head laughing. Was he really going to let me get away with this?

"Sorry, sorry, everyone!" he said. I stared suspiciously. Did he rip one at the same time or was he just a  wonderful person?

(I just had to hush Greg because he was trying to tell the story for me. Sheesh, get your own blog, buster!)

"You better get used to that, Tess, he does it a lot," Stacie said. "I'm surprised he didn't blame it on the chair!"

"It was the chair," Greg said. I wondered if he really thought it was the chair or if he really was just a wonderful person. Everyone was laughing heartily and teasing him endlessly. He was blushing A LOT and they pointed it out. I felt very self-conscious as I KNEW my face was BURNING.

But I laughed right along with them, mocking the poor fool. I imagined talking to him about it later, laughing then, and laughing for forever. I thought, "Dang, I sure love this guy."

As the minutes passed, the family laughing, I wondered how they weren't getting suspicious of HOW MUCH I WAS LAUGHING. Surely they'd notice my panicked laughter once everyone else had calmed? Surely they'd wonder? Surely they'd KNOW! I had thought all the while, "Well, this is great, they'll just think it was him forever and my reputation will be secure." I was going to let it go, let him be my fall guy.

I'm horrible at dishonesty though. My eyes get shifty and my cheeks get red and I get a little loud and obnoxious. Just ask any of my relatives that have tried to get me to cheat at Pictionary. I decided I had to come clean.

"It was me."

I raised my hand and buried my laughing face in Greg's shoulder. There was a hesitation as his family took in the news. Then I heard his dad roar. His sisters laughed. I looked up, and we all laughed harder. His mom rubbed her eyes. For ten minutes, there was solid laughter. We were all tearing up.

I assured Greg that I would love him forever for this service he had rendered to me.

What kind of guy just takes the blame like that? He didn't blink an eyelid, he just went with it. That, my friends, is true love. Ladies and gentlemen, the future father of my children.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Dog's Best Friend

I thought a good follow-up to my last post would be to share tonight's escapades! Don't worry, it wasn't the cockroach again. That demon hasn't reemerged thankfully. I am pretending its disappearance is permanent–like fell-into-an-incinerator-and-died kind of permanent. Do you think an incinerator could kill a cockroach if a nuclear bomb can't? Don't answer that. I don't want to know.

Anyway, the parentals and I went and got foot rubs tonight, leaving the miniature schnauzer, Ranger, my adopted brother, to roam the house freely. Upon our return, my mother found him in the living room thoroughly occupied.

"Ugh. Ranger found a gecko."

I joined her in the living room and we both examined the gecko from a safe 6-foot distance.

"Did Ranger kill it?"

"I can't tell."

"It doesn't look dead."

"I can see its eyes..."

Indeed, right as we said this, the gecko tried to make a break for it.

I don't think it was dead.

I don't know if you have ever seen a gecko move, but its movement is almost as bad as a cockroach. It does this weird little thing where its body moves like a squiggly line, like it is trying to shake its hips while it walks. I don't know if I had ever seen a gecko move before. Well, my mother and I SQUEALED and split like a banana.

I'm really impressed by the amount of movement elicited by creeping things. I know I did at least a two-foot leap in the air, my legs moving in something like a jig, and then I ran to the kitchen where I climbed onto the far cupboard. I smiled and said "Hey" to my dad, who hadn't made it into the living room yet. I don't know what my mom did, but I know she jerked away just as I did.

Once I'd gathered my courage, I went back into the living room. Ranger had followed the gecko under the table where he was trying to engage it in conversation. Or something like that. He had his paw on its tail and was watching it out of the corner of his eye, just waiting for it to move again.

"Look, Ma, I found a friend!"

I'm pretty sure he wasn't being mean, and that he had no intention of ever eating this gecko he was playing with. I think he just wanted a friend. He would watch him, it would slip out from under his paw, he'd grab it again, and stick his nose on it, maybe nip it a little. To be honest, it's how he treats me, so I didn't feel TOO bad for the gecko.

My mom tried to summon my dad to save it, but he said no. She said, "I thought you dealt with geckos in Hawaii?" He replied, "Yeah. I squished 'em." I found it ironic that when he DID come a few minutes later, he still told Ranger not to hurt it. The gecko finally escaped under the couch, and Ranger is once again a sad little lonely dog whose only joy is to follow Tess around and get in her face. Lucky gecko.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I don't do bugs.

"Tess, come help me!"

Um, excuse me, father? I don't speak crazy.

I don't know what he expected, I mean really. Lets backtrack five minutes. I'm standing in the bathroom flossing my teeth (good dental hygiene, people!) when I hear, "Aha! There you are!" I look, and my father is standing up in the living room wielding a magazine for battle.

I immediately tense. Is it a spider? Must be a big one for that reaction. Could it be just a mosquito? I hope. That wouldn't be so bad. I approach slowly, solely out of curiosity. My father sights me.

"Tess, come hold on to me so I don't fall off the table!"

Since any initial implication of a creepy crawly, my thoughts have slowed. It takes me a moment to understand what he is saying. He wants my help? Here is my problem with that. Lets look at my history with bugs.

Experience A
Girls Camp 2004. Tess sits on a top bunk innocently chattering with her fellow beehives when a bug FLIES IN HER FACE. She shrieks, flails, then bursts into tears.

Experience B
Tess is about to start a steamy bath filling when she notices the giant beetle by the faucet. She pauses. With all her strength of mind, heart pounding, she calmly walks from the bathroom to the top of the stairs and yells, "HELP! DAD!" Dad comes to the rescue. He removes the bug, Tess takes her bath, only slightly traumatized.

Experience C
Basement of the Lamb house, 2013. Greg looks at the wall for a moment before saying sweetly, "Why don't you go upstairs real quick and I'll be there in just a moment?" He takes off his shoe. I go upstairs. A moment later I hear two slams. He comes upstairs and assures me there weren't two of anything down there. In case you're wondering, that is yet another reason I love him.

But before you start thinking I'm totally hopeless...

Exhibit A of Bravery
Girls' night at the Lewis household, only four teenage girls and some pizza in the oven. A baby centipede finds its way into the kitchen. Shrieking ensues. "Someone get it!" Adrianne squeals. Tess realizes no one is going to man up, so she bravely takes a plastic cup and traps the baby centipede. Together, they all vacuum it.

Exhibit B of Bravery
In the kitchen of Fall 2012, roommate Chelsea announces she will clean the frog tank, but somebody needs to take the frog out. Devynne offers verbal support from the bathroom. Sure, no problem. Tess tries to relocate frog. Fails. Frog is on the cupboard. Screaming ensues. Frog falls on the kitchen floor. More screaming. Tess flees yelling, "I can't handle this!" Then she realizes neither Chelsea or Devynne plans to handle it either. She saves the frog.

What I'm getting at is that I don't do bugs or any other crawling slimy creature. Unless I have to. But I prefer not to.

But I do not not NOT do cockroaches.

Exhibit A of Cockroaches
Sometime in the 2000s. Mom and Tess are cleaning out an old shelf of books when they discover a nest of cockroaches about the size of a silver dollar. There are about twelve, and much MUCH screaming ensues (did I mention we were at the church?). Finally our female driver, laughing at us, takes a napkin and kills the cockroaches as they emerge.

So when my dad asked me to help him, I asked, "What is it?"

"It's a cockroach, I need to kill it."

That would be when the cockroach reemerged from hiding and he told me once again to come help him. Yeah. Right. I wasn't budging. I watched as he went after it. Then he lost sight of it.

Then I saw it.

I could SEE its intelligence. A creepy crawly with intelligence. I directed dad to it and then promptly left the room. Cockroaches are officially the creepiest smartest speediest bugs to roam the earth. 

I. Do. Not. Appreciate. It.

Now excuse me, while I try to sleep at night knowing there are cockroaches in the house. Because where there's one, there's bound to be more. And no, my dad wasn't able to kill it. It's still out there, watching.

Friday, May 3, 2013

He said, "Will you?"

Wedding Plans

Finally! What you've all been waiting for! No one really cares about the courtship, they just want the nitty gritty details about the proposal! Right? No? Anyone? Anyway. We're there now. Thank you for your patience.

Continuing from where I left off...once Greg and I got back together, the idea of marriage was kind of always kind of there in the back of my mind. Could I? Would I? Should I? That kind of thing. I wasn't thinking about it SERIOUSLY. I don't believe I really sat down and considered the pros and cons of such an arrangement. It was just a thought to contemplate in my free time.

A couple weeks after our little reunion, he and I went up to see some of my extended relations up in northern Utah. Everyone seemed to ask us the same question, "So how does he feel about you going on a mission? Is he going to wait for you?" to which we both responded, "We haven't discussed it." One of my cousins even asked me when we were alone at the store, "If he proposed, what would you do? I said simply, "I'd say no!"

The night after getting back from meeting the rellies, we were at his family's house in Orem and we were just chilling in the living room. I am not sure what got the conversation on that track, but we started discussing our future plans. Respective future plans. Not future plans together. I asked him where he thought he'd be in a year. Then he asked me the same thing. I thought about it, and then I said, "Well I see two options. I could either be in Japan...

or I could not be in Japan."

The implication of course being that I would either be on a mission or I wouldn't. There's obviously only really one thing that could've brought about the latter. Greg asked me which side of the fence I was leaning to - the Japan side or the not-Japan side. I told him I was really just walking very steadily on the fence. He asked which side I'd fall on if a breeze hit me. I told him I honestly didn't know.

But I really started thinking about it. Even as we were sitting there I just considered it seriously. I think it was mainly silent ponderful thinking, not really a discussion. I don't quite recall. I did take this picture...

"Hi, I'm really cute. Consider marrying me maybe?" Oh ok!
Basically at some point I just looked at him and thought, "Yeah. Yeah I think I could marry him." And WHAM! I just had a confirmation in my soul of peace and contentment that YES. Yes I could. And that was that for me. I told my family the next day. I told Greg the day after that. He agreed he'd be very open to the option, and that he'd pray about it. About a week later when he'd gotten his own answering we started planning. We scheduled the temple and he planned on going to California with me to meet my parents in person. Bam. Then he started planning a proposal. Or he was supposed to. I don't actually know the timeline of that because I made it very clear I wouldn't be assisting in any way because I wanted to be surprised - same for the ring. I did give him my sister's phone number, however, and I told her everything I wanted in a ring.

The Proposal

Flash forward about a month. March 29th. Greg was all set up to propose. He'd been laying the sneaky ground plans with, "Oh let's have Chinese food tomorrow night..." and he had a cheap Walmart ring for me to wear until we picked out a real ring. I didn't think it was TOO weird that he wanted Chinese food even though I KNOW it's not his favorite. Anyway.

Trina texted him a few hours before he planned to proceed. "She wants the real ring for the proposal," she told him. Greg's plans screeched to a halt. I didn't think it was weird when he suddenly didn't want Chinese food anymore. That was probably the least suspicious I'd been about his actions that entire month.

And I am SO suspicious.

That whole month I was paranoid that he would propose at any moment, despite his threats to propose in California (which I also slightly believed). I LOVE surprises but I am SO difficult to surprise because I am always eagerly anticipating it. But that's ok, because when the surprise DOES come, I'm still a little surprised.

I became suspicious, however, when during the next week he was continually late and getting mysterious phone calls from people which he wouldn't explain. I became even more suspicious when suddenly a week later he wanted to eat Chinese food again. Not TOO suspicious. But I was already at the point that I was extra-beautifying myself every day just in case he proposed and I'd be in pictures.

So Friday, April 5th, a week after he originally planned to propose, came. I started beautifying myself, and my roommate approved and disapproved outfits (I didn't realize she knew Greg was going to propose and was helping me look nice). A quick sidenote about clothes -- Greg asked me the day before to bring an extra outfit in case it rained and then we'd play in the rain and I could then change. I learned after he proposed that he'd been planning for every kind of situation. This is also relevant because since I had extra clothes I ended up changing into less cute clothes right before he proposed. Ugh. And no, it wasn't raining. I got oil on my pants.

We had Chinese food at his house, with a few of our friends. When I arrived, his roommates Nate and Rick were in the backyard staring at something in the garden. I concede I had only a flicker of suspicion before Nate came in and told me about how they were planning a summer garden. I fell for it. I learned later they were setting up a hidden camera.

We then made dinner. Greg had meant to cook it FOR me, but I took over (he is a great cook though!). We made it together and it was pretty good. It was mostly stuff we got from Costco and put together, but it was delicious either way.

After dinner I settled myself on the couch and started playing a game on my phone while those around us socialized. Then Greg was like, "Hey Tess, let's go in the backyard and watch the sunset." To him, he thought this wasn't suspicious because according to what we told his mother we had done so "3-4 times" - that is false. We had gone into the backyard maybe once and it wasn't even to watch the sunset (though the sun happened to be setting at the time. Needless to say...

I was immediately suspicious.

"Why?" I asked.

"It's too hot in here."

"Ok, Greg. Let's go 'watch the sunset.'"

So I allowed myself to be led outside, just him and me, and arranged on a blanket in the backyard. I say "arranged" because he actually moved me so I was better positioned for cameras. That wasn't weird or suspicious at all (sarcasm). But I was still not POSITIVE if he was actually proposing, since he'd been purposefully trying to trick me for awhile. Also I was distracted by the game on my phone. I continued to play that when we went outside. I know I know...I may have been killing the mood with my media obsession.

It was a little chilly so Greg went inside once to get me a jacket. Unbeknownst to me, he used the opportunity to command his minions. Nate was directed to follow five minutes after. Cameras were distributed. Stuff like that. He came back and gave me his jacket - his comfy fluffy man hoodie, which I assure you made my cute outfit all the cuter.

So getting to the actual PROPOSAL. Five minutes after he brought me his jacket, Nate came out with fortune cookies. "Since we had Chinese...we had these..." My thought was,


I fully expected my fortune to say, "Will you marry me?" I was only half right. I enthusiastically broke open my cookie and started elegantly (not) eating it as I pulled my fortune free. I looked around then and Nate and Rick both had cameras on me and I realized I should probably set the cookie aside for later, so I did, and I read my fortune.
He printed and cut and put the fortunes in the cookie himself, and then rewrapped the cookie.
If you can't see it, it says, "Stop searching forever happiness is just next to you."
And honestly, my thought was, "Well that's actually very much like a fortune. What does Greg's say?" It wasn't until I read his that I knew this was the actual proposal. He tricked me.
"Hope she says yes"
Just so you know, she did.
 As soon as I read his, he pulled the ring out of his pocket and then said simply,

"Tessara, will you marry me?"

He said after that he had had a speech all planned out but that was all he could get out. But it was just perfect. I was so surprised at everything he did and it was all so sweet and simple and beautiful and I loved my ring and I was so shocked and pleased that I was shocked and I looked at Nate and Rick and I looked at Greg and I looked at the sunset and my eyes watered up and then I took the ring and put it on.

I love love LOVE my ring. He did such a good job.

And I think I nodded.

And here are our lucky numbers. On 07-27-2013 at 12:40, I get to be sealed for time and eternity with the man I love. He is the kindest most loving person I have ever met, and I am so excited he's mine, even though I don't deserve him.

The luckiest numbers ever!
And that's that. That's our story. It seems like a long one so far but it's really just the beginning!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How "Going With the Flow" Failed. Utterly.

**Warning!** This post's tone may be influenced by the misery of separation as Greg has just returned to Utah from California and I will be going to China in a few days. We won't see each other for a month.

Going With The Flow (Ha.)

So if you'll recall, I was being all wishy washy and uncertain-like about whether I should date Greg or not. Then I decided I'd give him a chance. But in giving him another chance, I thought it'd be easy to just go with the flow. No commitment or nothing, just enjoy the ride. Well I have just one thing to say about THAT.

Don't lie to yourselves, people. It's impossible.

Starting Again

Once I started sending Greg green-light signals again, he moved quickly. He says it was all subconscious, which I find...not very flattering...but we'll just ignore that. Basically, we were talking and hanging out more and then one night he came over and we were watching Brother Bear (a favorite movie of mine) and he FINALLY held my hand. May I repeat:


Hi, I'm a great movie.
It was actually amusing because my brother happened to be watching the movie with us (on the other couch) and when Greg took my hand (under a blanket), I thought, "Hmmmm. This is interesting." So I started talking to Trey in Chinese.

Tess: So...Greg has my hand.
Trey: Oh really? How do you feel about that?
Tess: I don't really know. It's fine.
Trey: Ha. You're just like me. Hearts of stone.
Tess: True...

And that was that. The next day we went to a volleyball game and I wasn't in a great UP mood (I was feeling rather apathetic about life in general) and so when Greg didn't take my hand again I didn't really worry about it. He didn't do anything and didn't do anything until finally he randomly (again, subconsciously he says) put his hand practically IN MY LAP. So I just took it then. And thereafter we basically were acting like we were dating all the time. Not that I would admit that. Because I was just going with the flow.

Officializing Officialness

So after about...three? weeks of not saying a word about the fact we were ACTING like we were dating, in fact not even referencing the fact at all, I decided I should PROBABLY talk about it all with Greg. So long evening short, we talked. He confessed he had no idea what was going on, but he WOULD like to be in a relationship, so bada boom bada bing. Relationship OFFICIALIZED!

A couple days after that I was TRICKED.


Here's how it went. Greg had begun in the previous week or sometime (again, he claims it was an unconscious act on his part where he thought, "Whoa! I just did that! Random!") to kiss my cheek or nose or chin or whatever. Usually while we were watching a movie. It'd just be a random peck. Very sneaky. I started reciprocating in kind.

So the way I was tricked was one day we were in the kitchen passing the time. I'd been waiting for him to just take the leap and kiss my LIPS for awhile (he'd been thinking about it for at least a week...maybe two - when we'd be saying good night he'd hug me then lean back and stare at my face/lips for a minute before finally saying good night). So with that mindset...he kissed the corner of my lips. Then the other corner. I figured the next logical step would be the middle (i.e. my lips) so I helped him and pecked HIS lips.

I kissed him.

He tricked me. He didn't even peck me back or nothing. He told me later that he was surprised and was like, "Oh! We're kissing now!" I was so miffed. I went straight to my phone and texted my sister so that I set the record right away that I WAS TRICKED.

February: Quite a Month

So February was a pretty big month for us. I got my mission call, celebrated my 21st birthday, started planning a surprise birthday for Greg (his birthday is two weeks after mine) and...oh yeah.

I broke up with Greg.

What's that you say? You thought we were getting married? You thought that was the whole purpose of this blog? Yes yes yes. I'm getting there. But first - a random sidenote.

This is FaceTime last night. Who has the cutest fiancé in the world? (Hint: I do!)
I left my iPad with him so we can use iMessage and FaceTime while I'm in China.
Oh right. I broke up with Greg. So that came about because I of my little "do-I-want-to-date-him" dance. Part of my depression/anxiety/stuff-I-enjoy is that I over-think and over-worry about EVERYTHING. For reals. Try me. I guess it is sort of like taking the worst case scenario of any situation and worrying and WORRYING and believing a little bit that it might actually happen. That's my life sometimes. It is usually exacerbated by hormonal times, which is what hit right around Valentine's Day (lucky Greg). Anyway - that is what basically drove me to breaking up with Greg. There were things of a more spiritual nature as well which I won't share but I finally decided I had to break up with him because I couldn't THINK while I was with him (it was a pretty low time).

So I was devastated. Greg was devastated. We broke up without any plan of getting back together. I was a mess for days, worrying my roommates and family. Yeah. Fun times. We broke up a couple days after V-Day (which was the day after I got my mission call) and a few days before my birthday.

I will say though, we don't do breakup very well. We still talked to each other basically all the time. We played ultimate frisbee the day after the breakup. We went to a basketball game (not as a date - with friend people) the day after that. We were still best friends. Just best friends that were über depressed about that fact.

Skipping a little, and referencing back to the vague mention of spiritual stuff, I will just say that I did get my answer to what I needed to know. It was a GREAT answer. I told my sister I was getting back together with Greg and she said, "You know in deciding this, you might not go on a mission after all." "Huh. True. That's ok." In the joy of the moment I thought, "That's ok too!"

So fun story. That was good times (not). Here's what I learned though - about the going with the flow thing.

Even if it works at first, it's a generally bad idea. You will never get the full awesomeness out of a relationship unless you yourself are fully committed to it. "Going with the flow" is not being committed. It is just kind of chilling while the other person does the work.

Relationships are so much worthwhile when you're both working for it. Just for the record.

Now proceed to wait until the next post comes up which includes marriage talk and proposal stuff. Yay!

**Another random sidenote** I'm not a sad little depressed person all the time, as this post would seem to imply. I don't want to give you that idea. February was just not good times for me. :) K bye.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Awkward turtle...

Mission Plans

In review, let me just say that I still wasn't positive about Greg. I had pretty well decided to give him a chance but I was also deep in the process of getting my mission papers ready to submit. May I also add, Greg was NOT aware of this. I felt weird telling him about it, so I didn't. But that was always in the background.

Nevermind, Bro.

After a couple weeks of our little dating-hanging-out thing, Greg still wasn't doing anything. He wasn't setting actual dates and he wasn't trying to hold my hand anything. I had made an OATH with myself at the very beginning that I wouldn't initiate the important things in our relationship (physical and dating etc.) so I was not going to tell him to hold my hand or take his. I was making him make the decision (training him not to be a scaredy cat).

I finally reached a point that I decided I didn't want to bother trying to date him. Greg sometimes would say jokes that weren't nice about himself, and I didn't like it, so I shut down a little bit. I do that. I backed off completely. I didn't invite him over for hanging out, and he didn't suggest it anyways, and he didn't ask me on a real date. Things just kind of stopped.

Awkward Times

Greg was as offended as he could be (which isn't a lot) by my sudden backing off, so he decided for a little bit he'd back off too. Oh joy and happiness. That was a fun time.

I am SO awkward. Let me give you an example. I went to a soccer game with my roommates and we happened to be sitting a few rows up from Greg and his roommates. My roommate pointed them out to me and asked if I wanted her to get their attention. I think she didn't hear my emphatic NO because she yelled to them and they turned around and waved. I about died cause I'd been so weird lately and I just hid my face in my other roommate's shoulder. Greg referenced this later as being kind of awkward. Norly?

He texted me after a few weeks to apologize for not being a good friend. He didn't really say anything about the awkwardness, but his apology made me feel bad because he didn't know what he'd done wrong to make me back off. Bah. I'm not good socially.


So that period lasted a couple months. Then I went to California with my family for Christmas. While I was there I had a change of heart. I don't really know what caused it. All of a sudden I just sort of missed Greg. Just a little bit. It softened me enough so that when I went back to Utah I agreed to hanging out with him again and he was cute and fun and cocky and I was like, "Bah. Fiiine. Let's try this again."

Going in this time, however, I said I had to be completely honest about some things. Like the aforementioned self-deprecating jokes. They stopped promptly upon my noting them. He's getting real good. I also told him about my mission plans, which he thought was great.

Thus ends the third installment of our story, and the actual beginning of our relationship. Kinda. Almost.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Dating GuROO

Dating Guru

So I was 10% kidding about deciding not to like Greg. I still wasn't sure, wasn't making a decision, but that doesn't mean I wasn't playing with the idea. I probably tortured him a little bit with the incessant flirting and teasing and hanging on him, etc. I also made clear at times that, "I'm just a flirt" so he didn't get any ridiculous ideas (like asking me on a date) and he would say, "No really? I couldn't tell." Ha. Well played, Mr. Sarcasm.

So in our little Friend Family there are three male roommates (including Greg) and myself. Because I am a generally nosy and just overall amusing individual, I decided I'd help the rest of the Friend Family get married. I dubbed myself DATING GURU and demanded information of all their love interests and dating lives. This was done primarily through the Greg. I recall one late night Sunday evening phone call when he divulged the romantic interests of everyone, including himself, and I bestowed my gracious dating advice on him.

In this conversation he told me about one young woman named Samantha. My thought was, "Samantha. Hmm. Interesting." Not gonna lie, I was just trying to trick him into admitting he liked ME. But nooo...he actually told me about real people he had potential interest in. Whatever, dude. So I listened as he told me about this Samantha and how he wasn't sure if there was interest there but that they talked a lot sometimes and blah blah blahhhhh! I talked to him about dating, and how it isn't weird, get over it, etc. etc.

Probably weeks or months after that conversation, I got a text from Greg. Our conversation went something like this (G is Greg, T is Tess):
G: So I have some good news and some bad news. Which would you like first?
T: Um. The good news?
G: Well, I think I may have finally gotten up the courage to ask Samantha out.
T: Okay, good. What's the bad news?
G: She may technically exist.
T: [Understanding dawns.] I just have one question for you.
G: What's that?
T: Where the flip did you get the name Samantha?
G: [Insert random explanation.]
T: [Insert lecture on why first dates don't have to be a big deal.]
G: Okay, then would you like to go out sometime?
T: How about you try that again, only this time not in text.

Yeah, I made him call me on the actual phone. According to him, he was SO nervous. He was DYING. So he called me. Our conversation went something like this:
G: Hey.
T: [Sigh] Hi.
G: I was wondering if you would like to go on a date with me sometime.
T: Sure.
G: Sure?
T: Sorry. Yes.

Hahaha - I can't say I was pleased that I now had to make a decision about whether I wanted to really date this boy or not. He ruined all my flirting fun. I thought he'd be a wimp forever. Dang it.

So it turns out that this "Samantha" person had been me all along. Apparently he had actually been about to name her JESS when he realized that was too close. Anyway. So he asked me out. Yayyyy dating...


Greg didn't actually have a date plan when he asked me. He had to call me back when he figured it out. He said he barely made it through the actual asking. Well, he chose the DINOSAUR MUSEUM. To be honest, my first thought when he said, "How do you feel about the dinosaur museum?" was, "For reals? Oh...yay...." I wasn't totally thrilled. It was a little weird to me.

BUT it was fun. When I was focused on having good social skills, it was good times. The dinosaur museum itself was pretty fun. Greg is a Biology major and he thus took it upon himself to explain the exhibits to me. My favorite part was when we'd be walking up to a dinosaur statue and Greg would try to name it and he would be wrong 90% of the time. It was wonderfully amusing to me.

Date one - pretty good success.


After the first date, Greg and I started seeing a lot of each other (moreso than when we were just good buddies). We started watching LOST together at my apartment. This did not include cuddling or hand-holding. It was a perfect opportunity and he didn't take it. After months and months of dancing around and flirting, I thought it was a pretty good time to be doing these things, but he didn't. I suppose it was a good thing, but at the time I was wondering what was taking so long.

So I don't recall exactly whether it was before or after our second date that he came over and took care of me while I was sick, but that was very sweet too...just thought I'd mention that. One of our couch pillows smelled like him for days. Not that I noticed.

A week or two after the Dinosaur Museum, we went on a double/triple group date thing with some friends of ours. It was at the end of October so we went to the corn maze at Cornbelly's. We went through multiple mazes and I FINALLY got him to hold my hand. Kind of. It was more that "I'm-holding-your-hand-loosely-to-guide-you-through-the-maze" kind of holding. The second maze this occurred in I was hoping would be more of a "we're-holding-hands-for-real" holding. No go. He let go of my hand altogether and I gave up. He let go and disappeared so I marched away. I had been in this particular maze before so I knew the way out.

I learned later that he had been disappearing so he could jump out and scare me, but I disappeared. Then on his way out he got deafened by an air cannon. Oops. Oh well.

Date two - less of a success so much.

How Greg Met Tess


So it only seems suitable that it has been almost a year since my last blogpost. I'm not as fancy as some people (*cough*Trina*cough*). It's also pretty amusing that my LAST blogpost was talking about life changes - namely, moving. Well, I have even MORE big changes to report!

First, last Friday I received my diploma for my Bachelor's of Arts from Brigham Young University. I am officially a college graduate! That means no more classes, no more homework, no more finals, or tests, or teachers, etc. etc. Basically, this is a HUGE life change. I am going to have to get a job and just be a big kid now!

Second, as many have been aware, in February I received a call from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to serve a full-time mission to preach the gospel in Nagoya, Japan. That was pretty exciting, too, and it was essentially my plan for my next eighteen months. I was going to go to China for a month, hang out for a month, then report on June 26.

Well that plan changed a LITTLE bit when a little while ago I started dating someone. Whelp. I'm getting married! I think that's pretty much the biggest life change there is, no? So Trina said, "Now you're getting married you have to write on a blog!" SO here I go. Revamping the old blog. Maybe I'll even learn how to design the background thing (*gasp*).

I have decided to start off by the story of how I went from MISSION to MARRIAGE. So this is the first installment of HOW GREG MET TESS! By the way, that's the person I'm marrying (Greg).

So here's the story. And you'll find that it is a VERY long story. About two years long.

Boy Meets Girl and Girl is Unimpressed (aka First Impressions/Meeting)

So almost exactly two years ago now, the Young Single Adult stakes in Orem and Provo were COMPLETELY redone. My ward, which I loved, was metaphorically butchered into a bunch of different pieces. Our ward's people were divided into all three stakes and multiple different wards (due to the new boundaries). This was not totally thrilling to me, but my boyfriend at the time lived a block west of my house so that was comforting that we'd still be in the same ward.

First or second FHE, we were at a member of the bishopric's house. The aforementioned boyfriend at the time was coming from work and thus not there. I was helping prepare refreshments while staring uneasily at the people that had just been thrust on me as my new ward family.

*Sidenote** You probably already know this if you've ever met me, but I do not warm up to new things very quickly. It takes me sometimes months to start feeling comfortable in a new environment. Socially, this new ward was VERY discomforting.

So there I was, innocently avoiding socializing by hiding in the kitchen cutting bananas. One of the unfamiliar young men new to my ward family was sitting at the dining room table and chatting with the bishopric second counselor. I don't know that I knew this at the time, but he was the new EQP (elder's quorum president). As they conversed, this young man made some comment he must have found amusing, because he smiled at me like I was supposed to laugh. Very friendly-like. Kind of too friendly.

And I thought..."Back off, creeper. We're not friends."

Now you may be thinking, "So this is when the future husband swept in and saved the day, yes?"

Nope. That was him. The creeper was Greg. Yep...moving on.

New Friend

So not long after this initial "creeper" impression, the aforementioned boyfriend and I broke up. No big deal. We were cool. The only issue was that I now found myself in a ward with no good friends to interact with. Friends, there is wisdom in the idea that all new converts need a FRIEND. I had been a member of the church for nineteen years at this point and came dangerously close to going inactive, because I felt so uncomfortable in the new ward. Now when I say "dangerously close" I just mean that I thought about it wistfully. Wishful thinking. My calling kept me going.

I decided then after this period that I needed to be more social if I wanted to enjoy being in the ward. I had to pick a friend and make them mine (yes, that's how I make friends, I pick you and your mine forever). There just so happened to be a very friendly EQP that had been attempting to be my friend. I decided he'd be my friend. I also picked a girl from my old ward, whom I hadn't known very well, and chose her to be my friend as well.

Imagine my joy when we all started hanging out together. She was interested in Greg's friend, and we just made a happy little family friend group going to bonfires and playing ultimate frisbee and having a dandy time. Things were looking up socially. I was even considering starting to have a romantic liking for this Greg person.

Then he started dating my friend. Heh. Awkward. Nevermind then.

Best Friend

I like to think I have experience with backing off my own interests when my friends have the same interest. It wasn't a big deal to me, since I hadn't decided if I was officially interested or not. I was mainly just thinking about it. And we were still a happy friend family group, including other good friends that were in the ultimate frisbee bonfire book reading family.

Well a few months later after multiple breakups and getting-back-togethers, Greg broke up with this girl individual friend once and for all. Interestingly enough, he got most of the friend family in the semi-divorce (cause they were his first). As for me, who was a mutual friend from the start, they obtained joint custody. I was pretty content with this decision, and I got to practice my dancing skills (around the awkwardness in mentioning either of them to the other).

Long story short, this Greg individual was available once again. He and I were pretty good friends, and I could've decided then to start liking him again. I decided I didn't want to deal with figuring that out. Even though the aforementioned broken up mutual friend girl individual even told me on my birthday that I could date him (because he was texting me). "Happy Birthday, Tess, have a future husband!" But not in those words. She just said I could date him if I wanted. Actually, according to Greg, this was the point when he was starting to view ME in that potential dating manner.

I said, "Gee. No thanks. I'm good."

A couple months later I moved to Provo, and I severed ties with many Orem friends in the process, out of laziness. I stayed friends with my good buddies in the Greg Group, however. It turned out that moving was good for making us even BETTER friends. Also, his going to Alaska. Because he was leaving for Alaska for the summer I was taking up some of his last precious social moments before he left. This was bringing back those "What if..." wonderings in the back of my mind, but I mainly just enjoyed being around him. We talked for hours sometimes. Things were good. I could tell he was growing more interest in the matter.

Then he left for Alaska, leaving me with those "maybe" thoughts for his return. He was gone for 3-4 months.

He came back with a horrible ugly patchy beard thing. All those "maybe" thoughts flew out the window again.

Once again, I said, "Gee. No thanks. I'm good."

And that is the first installment of How Greg Met Tess....and later asked her to marry him.