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.

Nevermind...again?

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...

DATE ONE


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.

DATE TWO

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

BIG CHANGES

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.