That was the start of a flurry of FB messages, back and forth, for days.
I think it was about the 24th of September when we switched to texting and soon followed with phone calls. At this point I need to tell you a little more about me personally. I’m not a phone talker, never have been. It’s so bad that I when I was a teenager I preferred to drive to a pizza place and pick up a pizza then to call in an order. I have never been one to spend time on the phone chatting – you call, have your conversation, say good-bye. In fact I can probably count on one had the number of people I’ve held a conversation longer than 30 minutes with on the phone. I MUCH prefer talking in person. I don’t know why that is.
Apparently Chris didn’t know this about me, and I failed to tell him, and now, well it just isn’t an issue. Our first phone conversation probably lasted for 45 minutes. And for about a week we talked every other day or so, then it quickly changed to a nightly occurrence, which then stretched from 45 minutes a night to 2-3 hours a night. I loved listening to him tell me “stories” and he would ask me questions about myself and encourage me to tell him stories about myself – none were half as entertaining as his. He is a fantastic story teller, has a memory for details, and has lived a very interesting and colorful life.
One of the first things that struck me during our nightly conversation is that Chris really, truly listened. In fact the first time I gave him a run down on my family members he tells me, “Wait a minute, I’m going to take some notes.” And he actually took notes on everything I said! It was amazing to me that he paid attention and remembered everything I said. He often says even now, “Oh, I remember when you told me about…” Talk about impressive.
So back to our stories…We talked and talked and talked about everything under the sun. Chris is a fantastic story teller, and boy does he have stories to tell. This is probably where I should interject with a bit about my schedule. Anyone who knows me knows that I am without question or equivocation not a night person, my life runs by a very particular schedule. I’m a planner! I go to bed by 9:30pm so that I can get up at 4:00am. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are at about the same time every day. Chris has sooooo messed with my schedule. This man does not sleep more than 3-4 hours a night I quickly learned. This means he is going, going, going all day long. Right now he’s finishing law school and so that means he ends his day with night class that doesn’t get out till 9:00pm or 9:30pm – that’s my bedtime! The first few times we talked on the phone he was really considerate of my schedule, often saying, “Well I better let you go cuz I know it’s getting late for you.” At first I thought, wow that‘s so thoughtful.
It didn’t last long. I didn’t want to get off the phone. I would have been happy just sitting there listening to his voice all night long. I didn’t have to say anything, just listen. I was happy just listening. Pretty soon our nightly talks lasted longer and longer and eventually my bedtime fell by the wayside in favor of more time with Chris. I just couldn’t get enough of him. Our conversations were all over the board – family, friends, pet peeves, memories, life’s curve balls, everything was open except for 2 topics, politics and his conversion story.
I really felt like these were two things that needed to be discussed face-to-face. I guess that I felt that they were important enough to him, to both of us, that I needed to look into his eyes, to see his face when we discussed 1) something that could potentially be a source of conflict for the two of us, and 2) something that so profoundly changed the course of Chris’s life, the very same thing that was the bedrock of my life…the Gospel.
I told Chris very early in our relationship that the Gospel was the single most important thing in my life. It shapes who I am as a person, what I believe about the world around, and my daily decisions. And then I made sure to tell him that the Spirit resides in my tear ducts and that’s why I cry all the time when I talk about the Gospel. Despite the fact that he is so new to the Gospel his testimony shines through every aspect of his life. I LOVE the fact that he does not hesitate to bring the Gospel up in every conversation that he has with his friends and family – no hesitation whatsoever. I really can’t tell you how much I love this about him. His fire and enthusiasm for the Gospel humbles me. I want to be more like him. (PS – remember the Spirit in the tear ducts, well I’m crying all over the place right now). Anyways *deep breath*, back to the screwed up schedule.
Late night conversations with Chris became the norm, so my schedule is changing. I’m learning to do more on less sleep, and wouldn’t you know I’m surviving just fine. It was during one of these late night conversations, mid October, that I mentioned that I had my cousin’s wedding reception to go to in Texas December.
Now here’s one of the things that Chris and I have very different opinions about. I do not like wedding receptions, and it may not be so much that I don’t like them…it’s more that they’ve never been fun for me. Probably because of my years of singleness, bad receptions, awkward questions about “when’s it going to be your turn?” or “are you dating anyone now?” mediocre food, and expensive gifts and I’m just not a big fan. So, one night I’m talking to Chris about the upcoming wedding of my cousin Jessie who lives in Texas. I was planning on driving out for her wedding, by myself. Chris breaks in with, “I love weddings. I’ll go with you.” – are you kidding??? At least that was what I was thinking. First, who loves weddings? Second, you would do that for me? I really think that this was the first time that I actually, seriously considered that this, whatever “this” was, could be something more than just talking on the phone and getting to know this amazing man. I took him up on the offer, and that night we planned to meet for the first time, in two months time.
That would mean that our first “date” would be a 17 hour car ride after which he would be subjected to my entire family and by entire I mean like 50+ people. Wow! All I could say was Wow!
It’s here that I’ll jump forward to October 23. I was at church talking to a friend about Chris. At this point I haven’t really told too many friends about Chris, just my best friend and very few others I think this was more out of self preservation than anything. I didn’t know where this whole “relationship” thing with Chris was going and I didn’t want to jinx myself. It was kind of like I was keep this amazing treasure all to myself, but I was dying to shout it to everyone. One of the friends I did tell was my friend Charlotte from church. When I told her Chris and I were planning on meeting for the first time when he drove me to Texas her response was not what I was expecting. “Are you nuts? Why in the world are you waiting that long? You so do not want your first date to be a 17 hour car ride and then what are you going to tell everyone at the wedding when they ask how long have you been dating. ‘Our first date was the car ride over.’ Megan, you have got to meet him before the wedding.” With her remonstration ringing in my ears (BTW, thank you Charlotte!) I dialed Chris’s number on my way out to the car.
“Hey, how was church?”
“Good, I was just talking to my friend Charlotte and she said something interesting.”
“Oh, well I’m over here talking to Clinton and Amanda and they had an interesting idea to.”
“OK, well Charlotte told me that we really should meet before December, before we go on a 17 hour car ride together and you know what, I think she’s right.”
“Interesting. I’m sitting here with Amanda and the calendar is opened and we’re trying to decided when would be a good weekend for you to come out and visit.”
“Oh……OK. So when?”
We decided that night that we couldn’t wait till December, for so many reasons, and fortunately we’ve got amazing friends who are supporting us along the way. It was decided that November 11-13th would be the perfect weekend and I booked my flight the next day.
Megan sent me a FB message and I responded. I actually had to go back to that first message to see what I actually wrote. I know that I am not an average member of the church. My back ground is much more liberal then a lot of my friends in the church, and my politics are sometimes contrary to that of most members of the church, not better or worse just different. I am very involved in politics and believe in my politics, so i am forth coming when meeting potential mates so they know who I am up front so we don't waste each others time. With that being said I think I put the word democrat as the 2nd adjective about me. Even before convert. Not that order has anything to do with it, but yeah.
So I sent off the message chalked full of Chris charm and jokes and things about me that I feel people need to know up front. I did snoop around her FB and I was soo happy to see her surrounded by friends and family ALL the time, especially the kids. I love my nieces/nephews so much so the fact that her Facebook shows that she has the same love makes me happy. And did I mention that she is beautiful herself? no? Well she is.
I am not going to say that I waited by my FB for her to respond. I have/had so much going on that I sent the message and went back to my busy life. I figured I put myself out there and if she likes me GREAT, if not, that is part of life. At this point my Bishop has reminded me that I need to date, and only date LDS girls. Also my member friends have been pushing me towards singles ward and singles activities (Amanda feel free to enter in story) but I was resistant. I have SOOOOOOO much on my plate I would not be able give a girl the right attention. So I put the message out there and if she responded I would go forward.
And then some forever later..literally is seemed like forever..ok that is not true it was 6 days and she wrote back and told me that she was interested in talking, but the democrat thing wasn't her favorite. and honestly that is the only thing we really don't fully agree on. So we have kept the politics out of the mainstream conversation.
Well we kept in contact... one Facebook message every few days... then upped the ante and 2 messages every fews days until the messages came by the hour, day, minute.. to where we can't go about 5 minutes without communicating some how. So the blog was the next evolution to share with all of you the beauty that is us.
Our conversations evolved from Facebook to phone. I need to start another tangent before I move on to the next level of our story and that is what little I know about women. All I really know is that you need to listen and be able to talk about what is important to them. Since I have actually never done that before I would try that with Megan. and guess what men.. IT WORKS. Not only has she told me that it made her feel special, but I know a lot about her and her family, not everything, but a lot and I am still learning. Megan is super family orientated which makes me happy, but more so I love learning about her family.
So the phone calls keep coming. we talk several times a day, texted and just got to know each other. Then I heard of a wedding in Texas... once again we all know how much i love weddings, so i invited myself to go as her date. This would be the "first meeting." She was nervous, as was I. I am going to drive ½, literally, across the country to go to a wedding with her and her family. None of which I know. But again I LOVE WEDDINGS. Plus I started to get a good feeling about Megan.
I want everyone to know that I really liked megan while we talked, but it wasn’t until I saw her standing next to the baggage claim did she become real to me. So us talking on the phone brought her closer, but until we actually met it was just closer, not there.
So the planning began. We started talking about driving cross country, and how great it is going to be with us having so much time together. We decided that we are only going to talk about certain things in person. Politics was one of those subjects. The other subject was conversion. But we have moved forward and talked about most of those things when she came out to see me.
Now I am going to default to Megan on a lot of those conversations though I am a great listener I can not remember what was said at each different phone call or honestly how/why we started calling all I know is that her voice and insight made me calm and gave me faith to move forward. I wasn't moving back but she was that little push to endure. I don't know why someoneI had never met gave me that last bit of needed confidence, but it is not my duty to question, but to obey.
[stay tuned tomorrow...the adventure continues]