Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Evolution

Post-Europe friendship was different than our friendship had ever been. T.M.I.G.T.M. and I spent more time on the phone 'til the wee hours than ever before. We were communicating more and more during the work day (don't turn me in). I began to feel as if my day wasn't complete unless I'd talked to T.M.I.G.T.M. Then there was my super fun birthday dinner with a big group of my friends. T.M.I.G.T.M. was out of town on a project for work and I was sad the whole time that he wasn't there. I went home and spent a couple hours chatting with him at the end of the night. We talked about the girl(s) he was dating. I was still genuinely interested. And we talked about the boy(s) I was dating. He was genuinely interested. But mostly we just talked about dating and how much easier it would be if the people we dated shared our views and opinions on dating. I remember getting off the phone and thinking to myself, "It's a shame T.M.I.G.T.M. and I could never work out."

A week or two later I realized that an event for which I had purchased tickets for months earlier, was the following weekend. T.M.I.G.T.M. helped me work up the courage to ask a boy to go with me... a boy that I didn't know well, but was a friendly acquaintance at church. I had thought the boy was a cutie for some time. I asked him to join me, but he informed me he was going to be out of town that weekend. I was almost relieved that the boy couldn't go. I approached T.M.I.G.T.M. after an Institute class and said (very smoothly, I'm sure), "Would you want to go with me? I really want to go with you. I should have asked you to begin with." At this point I was surprised by two things: the realization that I really only wanted to go with T.M.I.G.T.M., and the positive, excited response which he gave.

The day of the concert came and I was so excited. I made us some treats (yes, Muddy Buddies) and got ready to go. T.M.I.G.T.M. came to pick me up and we were off. We met my sister and her boys at the concert. We sat on the lawn and enjoyed a wonderful concert. I laughed so much that night. I was impressed as T.M.I.G.T.M. took my nephews at intermission to get them hot chocolate. It felt so natural and so fun that T.M.I.G.T.M. and I should be on a date. It didn't really hit me until the ride home when I was hit with the tireds quite like I've never experienced. I rested the long drive home while he took care of me and drove us home. I felt very content.

The next day, I still didn't think much of my feelings for T.M.I.G.T.M., but I knew that I wanted to see him. Just as I was thinking of him, he called my phone and made plans to go the fireworks with me that evening. He came by my house and I invited him to join my family (briefly) for some BBQ deliciousness. We left for the fireworks and met a large group of our friends. I laid our blanket out and struck up a conversation with some nearby friends. A few minutes later, I noticed that T.M.I.G.T.M. was not only gone, but seated by a cute girl (who I had been encouraging him to date). I felt weird. But I kept talking to avoid the feelings. Then the fireworks started and he came my way... just to get his jacket... then went back to sit by the cute girl. I wanted to cry and I didn't know why. I felt angry, sad, confused, all at the same time. Why did I care that my friend was sitting by a cute girl who I had been promoting to him? The fireworks ended and I gathered my things. T.M.I.G.T.M. came over to me to tell me how much fun he'd had sitting with the cute girl. My heart sank to the very bottom of my stomach. I was sure I was going to hurl. I immediately broke out in a nervous sweat. WHY DID I CARE? T.M.I.G.T.M. told me of the after party he was putting together, and I asked him if he minded taking me home first. I gave no explanation, just that I needed to go home. Then I immediately called my girl bff and freaked out!

The next week T.M.I.G.T.M. and his bff were gone for a few days hiking King's Peak. The morning he returned, he called me. He asked what I was doing that night, and I made up some options. I asked what he was doing. He replied with, "I'm going on a date." That response was followed by the longest awkward pause known to man. I took a second to gather my wits and remind myself that I was his friend. I then made a bold move. I asked him who his date was with, trying to sound as interested as I could. He replied, "With you."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Friendship (Phase the Second)

The comfort of the casual friendship between T.M.I.G.T.M. and myself lasted for sometime. I always thought highly of him, but didn't think much more. Because we'd both had our many chances at dating, and our fate was sealed as friendship, or so I thought....

Sometime in 2007, T.M.I.G.T.M. and I started to spend more time together. We relied less on the group for our friendship and a little more on one another. We were friends— really, really good friends. Our chats started to be a little more revealing of our inner psyche, and my fondness for T.M.I.G.T.M. as an independent friend entity grew more and more. I began to go to him more with my boy problems and he came to me more with his girl problems. He earned himself the position of my go-to male friend whenever I needed a boy's perspective on any and everything. T.M.I.G.T.M. dated and had serious relationships with a girl or two during this phase. All the while, I was by his side as his friend. I knew I would get a phone call from him as soon as something of consequence happened in the relationships. I was happy to be there for him, because I genuinely cared for him. At this point, not once did I feel bad about not being an interest in his life. My role as his friend and confidant was satisfying as I made life-changing discoveries in my own life and changed career paths. I was thankful for the stability of his friendship during a time of change and upheaval in my life.

Last summer T.M.I.G.T.M. highly recommended that I date his bff and old college roommate, which I did. He was a great guy. He was similar to T.M.I.G.T.M. in so many ways that I automatically felt comfortable around him. In fact, it sometimes felt like I was dating a slightly altered form of T.M.I.G.T.M. We had a fun time dating. We went on double dates with T.M.I.G.T.M. and his girlfriend. It was really fun. I loved having my boyfriend and my best friend at the same time.

Months flew by, and trouble arose in paradise. I discovered that the bff and I weren't a permanent match. I couldn't ever put my finger on it, there was nothing wrong with this boy, but it was wasn't clicking in my head. All the while T.M.I.G.T.M. maintained his close friendship with me and my ex-boyfriend (his bff).

Even more months flew by, again, and I dated various boys, while T.M.I.G.T.M. dated the same girl. Sometime after that, T.M.I.G.T.M. broke up with the afore mentioned girl. I never did hear the details of the breakup because I was out of town, and I'm okay with that. All I know is that I came home from wherever I was and T.M.I.G.T.M. was ready to jump back into the single scene, and I was right by his side to support him. We continued on with the usual frienshipping, all the while, progressively spending more and more time together without even realizing it. Neither of us had intentions of dating one another at this point. We simply knew that dating sucked and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time together.

I specifically remember one night, last spring, in an Institute class when I sat next to T.M.I.G.T.M. I was having a handful of small boy troubles that were piling up to be super annoying. I passed a note to T.M.I.G.T.M. saying that I was going to take a leave of absence from my dating life while the dust settled. And he innocently wrote back, "What dating life?" I, of course, was offended as he hurried to explain that he wasn't aware of any dating activity going on in my life. I reassured him that there was plenty of dating going on, but that I just chose not to share. And then I pouted for a few hours.

About a month later, T.M.I.G.T.M. and his bff were planning a road trip to which I was explicitly not invited. However each of my best friends were. In a rage, I confronted T.M.I.G.T.M. in the hall after church and told him how absurd I thought it was that I wasn't invited on my ex-boyfriend's trip. And he proceeded to tell me that I was being a brat. From that moment, I began to notice T.M.I.G.T.M. in a slightly different light. He stood up to me. He called me on the carpet. None of my guy friends did that to me. I got away with being a brat all the time. But not with T.M.I.G.T.M.; he knew me. He knew that I was a brat and needed to be told that in order to understand the situation. Although I couldn't show it, I respected him more for standing up to me.

He went on the trip... kept on dating various girls. I went to Europe for a while... dated various boys. I received one email from T.M.I.G.T.M. while I was away in Europe... to inform me that he was dating a cute girl that knew me. Somewhere deep down inside of me, something began to simmer.... and I went on with my life.

I returned from Europe late on a Saturday evening. Because of the jet lag, I never slept that night and was up bright and early for church the next morning. I walked into the first meeting to find one empty seat next to T.M.I.G.T.M. I was greeted with a surprised look, a warm smile, and a big hug. I'll never forget that hug... though I didn't realize the significance of the hug at the time. Somewhere deep down, the flame began to grow just a little bigger.

And our friendship picked up right where it left off a month prior.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Friendship (Phase the First)

My last installment of my love story, entitled, "The Meeting," recapped details about how the man I'm going to marry (T.M.I.G.T.M) and I met. Our story is, by no means, on its way to becoming the romance novel of the year. But it's our story and it's a good one. "The Meeting" ended with T.M.I.G.T.M asking me out a second time and being turned down (regretfully) because I was dating Butthead.

As the months went by and I continued to date Butthead, I didn't give much thought to T.M.I.G.T.M. I do know that I saw him every now and again at church and social functions. We small-talked here and there, nothing too memorable. I broke up with Butthead and was back in the single scene full-force. However, Butthead had taken a toll on my confidence and I was a bit skittish around boys. I actually started to become better friends with T.M.I.G.T.M.'s roommate and friend. Roommate and I enjoyed talking politics and opinions of higher ed policies. It was because of this friend that I actually started hanging out with T.M.I.G.T.M. A gal pal of mine would come along with myself and the two boys. The four of us hung out a number of times. We would go out to eat, sit around and chat, hit up parties, or play "The Game" (my made up trademark of a card game.)

As the group of us spent time together, I began to wonder if I had a crush on T.M.I.G.T.M. I wasn't too sure of myself at this time in my life. I wasn't sure if my interests were sincere, or if I was needy and emotional after the breakup. So I stuffed any thoughts of interest in T.M.I.G.T.M. into the back of my head. Plus T.M.I.G.T.M. seemed completely indifferent towards me. He was as nice to me as the next girl, but gave me no significant amount of attention or time. Over a number of months our friendship stayed neutral and somewhat removed. We called to notify one another of parties and other social events, but never to spend much time chatting or really getting to know each other. At one point in this phase, T.M.I.G.T.M. actually asked one of my good friends on a date. So I completely wrote him off.

It seemed as though I was content to be his not-too-close friend, and he was content to be mine. And we went on with our lives, dating various people, but not each other, always coming back to our friendship when the so-called relationships ended.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Everything I Need to Know About Dating I Learned from Bill Murray

"There are two types of people in this world: those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't. My ex-wife loved him."
- Bill Murray as Bob Wiley
What About Bob?

"There are two types of single women in this world: those who chase, and those who are chased. Not to be confused with chaste."
- Megan [last name] as Megan [same last name]
Real Life

As I talk to single friends and reflect on my single life (all of a few weeks ago), I gather more and more evidence to support my theory on the two types of women.

I know, I know... I should stop giving my two cents about dating and move on to opinions on curtains and organizing closets. What can I say? Old habits die hard. Here's the thing, boys are attuned to telling the difference between these types of girls. They can see right through you! No amount of fake confidence can cover the fact that you are chasing a boy.

I hate to sound all June Cleaver, but by nature, men are hunters. Girls, let them hunt you. And by hunt, I mean call, date, love. Let the boy ask for your number, let HIM ask YOU out, let him follow up after the first date, let him kiss you, let him call and make future plans— Let him get the ball rolling. [There are a few exceptions to these guidelines... very few.] By taking on his role, you are emasculating him and you have become the easy kill. You are no prize to be won or fought for. There is no sense of pride and accomplishment in dating you. You are easy and disposable. He will date you until something better comes along and you will be crushed. And you won't get it. And you'll tell everyone what a jerk he is. But you, yes you, caused this problem by deciding to go against the laws of nature. It's okay to show interest in a boy. By all means, go talk to him at a party, at church, at the grocery store. Toss your hair, flirt with him... if he's shy, throw him a bone and give him your number (if you must.) But then walk away. Think of him no more. IF he's interested he will act. If he's not interested, he won't. And no amount of texts, social invitations, or touching his arm will change his mind. He either likes you or he doesn't. If he doesn't, swallow the difficult pill and move on to the next...

... the next one who will chase you! Be yourself. Be charming. Be attractive. Above all, be confident. There is not a darn thing wrong with you. Don't let that last boy take the wind out of your sails. There are a million factors involved in determining chemistry. It could have been something as simple as the fact that your perfume triggered bad memories of an mean, old neighbor in his subconscious memory. YOU are not the problem. It was just bad luck, and life. Pick a new interest. Be honest with yourself and try to pick one that is similar to you or one that is already noticing you. If nothing else, have interest in him simply for the sake of having interest in someone. The very worst thing that could happen would be that you might date him and find out you like him, or you date him and find out you don't. Show interest in the boy. Be intriguing. Be smart, funny, and HAPPY around him so that each time you walk away from a conversation with him he is left thinking, "What is it about her? I can't wait to talk to her again." Nobody likes a Debbie Downer... not the clerk at the grocery store, not your co-workers, and certainly not the boy you have interest in. If you're not happy or confident, fake it until you make it. You will be single as long as you are unhappy and lack confidence. When you gain that confidence and slap that smile on your face, he will chase you. And so will others. There is nothing more attractive to a boy than a woman with confidence. Ask yourself this question: If you were a boy, would you want to date you? Would you have fun on a date with you? When you can answer yes to both of those questions, you will be chased, and not the chaser.

Until next time...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Showered With Gifts... And Attention

Last night was my very first bridal shower. Three of my very best friends threw this party for me. I call it a party because we laughed the whole time and ate lots and lots of delicious sweets! I have always dreaded any kind of shower (except the kind that keeps you clean and covers the bathroom mirrors with steam)... even my own bridal showers. But this was SO FUN!

I have to admit, though, that I think this cultural tradition of ours is very, very odd. First of all, after mingling a bit and eating some goodies, everyone sat down in a circle and stared at me. I felt a little like a circus monkey or at the very least a winter window display at Macy's. I had an almost completely captive audience of good friends who suddenly acted as though they were hearing me speak for the very first time. I like attention as much as the next gal, but not of this magnitude. Then my cute friends who threw the shower shared a funny video of my fiancé answering questions... which lightened the mood and made us all laugh really hard. (Don't tell him, it'll go right to his head.)

THEN the strangest thing happened... everyone started handing me gifts, for no reason other than my pending nuptials! I felt so silly. I should have accomplished something or won an award to merit that kind of attention and those kinds of gifts. Even today, I feel a little silly and spoiled. Perhaps I'll go do something big and noble today, so I feel like I've earned all the doting. Then again, I'm sick, AND pretty busy today... so maybe tomorrow... or the next day....

I forgot to take pictures until almost all the guests were gone. Luckily, I got some of my BFFs. The others are just going to have to recreate the night so we can get proof that they were there.
Some of my best friends...
Oh, the memories we share!
When you're as cool as Michelle, you carry a film camera at all times.
This little stud had all the guest eating out of the palm of his hand...
or was it the other way around?
And our little night owl stayed up later than she has in years...
that's how much she loves me! ;)

Thanks for the wonderful evening, friend-Os!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cloudy With a Chance of Me Seeing that Movie Again

Last weekend, I went with my entire family to see, "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." Since there are so many wee ones in my family, I've accepted the fact that if ever we head to the theaters, we are going to see a silly, mildly entertaining kids' show. However, I am pleased to announce that I was pleasantly surprised by this movie! It delivered the perfect balance of silliness and action sequences for kids, and witty, not so obvious humorous elements for adults. I laughed— a whole lot. I was almost embarrassed at how much I laughed. Maybe it's my love for food and giant babies... I don't know. But I recommend this movie to YOU. And the good news is that it beat out, "The Informant" by almost tripling its revenue. Maybe America does still have morals, after all...

Of course, seeing this movie only made me EVEN MORE excited (if that's at all possible) for the upcoming release of another children's book-based movie! Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about!

In other news, I am home from work, sick in bed. I sure love those little kidlets in my life... even when they carry communicable diseases. My immune system was most likely weakened by my weekend menu.

Breakfast: Ben's Cookies
Lunch: Chadders
Dinner: Movie Theater popcorn and Little Caesar's Pizza
[Side note: This was my wedding dress shopping day. Maybe not the best idea I've ever had.]

Lunch: Leftover Pizza
Dinner: Muddy Buddies and Turkey Steak

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

[Awaiting results of pending couch purchase.]

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Meeting

Many people ask you how you met your fiancé once they hear you're engaged. I'm not sure if it's something they really care to know, or just one of those things you ask as as a formality. At any rate, here's the story... according to me:

It was a dark, cold, stormy night... Okay, that's not completely true. But it very well could have been because it was December, almost 4 years ago in 2005. I had graduated from WSU the spring prior and was almost half way through my first year of teaching 3rd grade. One weekend night in earlyish December, a couple gal pals and I decided to go to a holiday party to meet some cute, new single faces of the new singles ward of which we were attending. I was 22, in over my head at work, and not loving the idea of introducing myself into yet another "meat market" to be on display as one of the "new girls" in the ward. As soon as we arrived at the party, I found a nice spot of carpet where I could sit and be anti-social. A few boys who I had previously met stopped by my corner to say hello. I very nicely blew them off and continued to groom my section of the carpet with my hands.

Eventually, two nice-looking, friendly young men came over to join me on the carpet. It was obvious that they were good friends, and that they weren't going to just say hi and let me blow them off. They were a welcomed change of pace. One of the boys faded out of the conversation, and the boy who would eventually be my fiancé stuck around on the carpet for a good amount of silly, pointless, fun conversation. I don't remember much of the conversation other than the fact that he made me guess his last name, which I thought was ridiculous and hilarious, all at the same time. I left the party having met some nice people and didn't think any more about any of the encounters from that night.

A week or two later, I got a phone call from the boy who made me guess his last name. He confessed that he had asked my friend for my number and proceeded to ask me out on a date. I don't remember why or for what reason... but I was "busy" the night for which he requested my company. A month or two went by. I would see this boy at church, say hello and have some small talk here and there. One day after church, this same boy approached me and asked for my number, after he admitted he deleted it after the first attempt. This time I declined him again... because I was dating someone (who turned out to be a total butt head, by the way.) I remember feeling disappointed. It was a "gut" feeling. I was really surprised at how disappointed I was to not be able to go out with him— especially because I was dating a "great" guy and this boy wasn't a boy that I would have consciously picked out at that time in my life. I can still remember, today, that sick, disappointed feeling... and then blowing it off.

And over the course of the next almost 4 years, this boy and I became great friends. He wrote me off as a possibility and I figured I'd blown my chances with him. This allowed us to get to know each other without any pretenses about dating. And what a great blessing that has been to our relationship... to really know each other at our best and at our worst, before we ever started dating.

This concludes my version of "The Meeting." Please stay tuned for future installments of the story of how two friends fell in love.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Over the top?

All this frilly wedding planning stuff has got me thinking...
So I added a background to my blog. I think it's cute, but I feel kind of claustrophobic. It might just need some getting used to, or it might just drive me crazy. How do so many of you change up your backgrounds all the time? I hate change.

Look at me... growing up so fast and stuff.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A penny for your thoughts

I have been back and forth between wedding colors, and THIS is what I think I've come up with. The only problem is, will I be able to find flowers, ties, and other clothing items in a rust color. Thoughts?

My other option was going to be plum and dark chocolate. I think I might be starting to like that idea more and more....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bow- WOW

One of my best friends in the whole world is disgustingly talented. She makes and sells hair bows and head bands for little girls. You can check out the goods on her blog. I tell ya, it's good to know talented people; my future daughters will have something feminine to adorn their possibly over-sized, bald heads.

Here is a sneak peak of what she makes:


Friday, September 4, 2009

Why I'm so glad I'm not longer meeting men...

And just in case you're thinking, "This can't be real." It more certainly is. Ask any single woman, and she can tell you a similar story... or two... or three....

Thanks, Janis, for passing this along.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Drum Roll Please....

For those of you who don't already know, THIS is who I am marrying:
November 21, in the Salt Lake temple
We have been good friends for almost four years. How (you might ask) do two good friends end up falling in love and getting married? Well, the answer is simple. And I will tell you... another day. I don't have time to get into the details right now, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Wedding vs. The Marriage

I want to be married to Dan— a lot. I don't want to plan a wedding. It's only been a week or so into the planning and I want to wash my hands of it and just twinkle into married life. I have never thought about a wedding, I'm just not one of those girls.

Apparently I have to have a wedding in order to be married. Would somebody please plan my wedding for me? Pretty, pretty please with a cherry on top!