Thursday, November 24, 2011

Family, Friends, and a little PDA

Happy Thanksgiving!  As you can imagine, pretty high up on my "things I'm thankful for" is Christopher Marohn.  My life is rich with blessings - the Gospel of Jesus Christ, my family, my friends, health, a job, and most recently Chris. In the spirit of's another chapter.


Day 2: 3 hours later.

I wake up. Look at the clock... curse it and get into the shower.  I am up and ready to go and at Pebble Beach by 0550.  That is O’dark thirty where I am from.  I get to the house and Megan is the only thing I needed. I was wide awake and ready to face the day! She was there still she hadn't snuck out in the night and she wasn't hiding somewhere from me. I still had a chance with her. This was going to be a great day. A fabulous day for us. She was STILL HERE!!!!! *did the happy dance in my head* I would like to point out now that I am in my nicer clothes. I have a blazer and sweater on. Not worrying about the smell and ready to spend the day with her.

We joke about lack of sleep and trying to get caffeine in the form of Diet Coke (and yes, to dispel rumors of my friends, Mormons can drink caffeine. That is a myth get over it.)  We go to Safeway. We are cooking breakfast and by we I mean Megan is cooking for Ben and Kari since they both got off work at like 7 am. We get to Safeway, buy what is needed and forget the Diet Coke and bacon.  So we stopped at another Safeway on the way before pulling into Ben/Kari's house. We find Kari cleaning and Ben hasn't got off work. 

Kari and Megan hit it off..which makes my heart smile. ALOT. They talked about everything as I sat on the couch.  I read the NY times on my iPad and listened to them talk, and knew life was good and all was right in my world.

There needs to be some discussion of me being a 16-year old girl here. Yes I know this is random, but it plays a part in the rest of the weekend. My obsession with my rims, my choice of TV shows (that is a long story for another time) the way Ben, Dave, Clint and I act all remind people of a group of 16-year old girls. So from here on out Megan refers (as do a lot of other people) to my issues and peck-a-doodles as me acting like a 16-year old girl. Which I totally embrace.
Well Megan cooked this amazing breakfast, waffles, bacon and eggs, all done at 8 am.  Problem is that Ben showed up at about 10 am for breakfast. His car was still broke down and it was not looking good.  But Ben showed up and we had a wonderful breakfast. We joked and laughed and played and quoted movies and sang songs for the next two hours. Megan just smiled and I just keep being me. I wanted to show her all of me and all my friends and she got that all day.  After Ben and Kari finally crashed out, Megan and I headed to Rancho Cielo for a quick stop, then we headed wherever the road took us.

That is not totally true, during our drive Megan told me about her Masters and things she loved to do with graphic design, and I knew exactly where to take her, San Jaun Bastia Mission. I knew she would love the history and would like to take pictures of the textures there so she could do her graphic design thing with them (once again gentlemen listen and follow through, key to a woman's heart)

Men I can not stress this enough. You need to listen. Everything else is side bar BS, if you don't listen. Even if she tells the story 1000 times you still need to listen. Megan did not do that this weekend, but I am just saying that if I had just smiled and nodded I would have missed out on so many great things about Megan. I am blessed I payed attention, so men DO IT!.

We got to the mission, and Megan started looking around and loving the area. We parked at the Mission and started walking around. Again I wanted to hold her hand but was unsure. I kept remembering Clinton telling me that he didn't even kiss Amanda from one point in their relationship until they got married.  So I was like.... well hand-holding might be a bit much. I have never been this reserved about physical contact before and honestly it made the time when I actually did grab her hand that much better. I felt more resolved when I did it.

Anyways I digress again. But we walked around the Mission looked at all the fun stuff. Megan took pictures we talked religion and flowers and colors, stuff like that.  We went downtown SJB which is the same as uptown SJB and around town SJB. So we walked the town and Megan was in love with me or the town, I couldn't quite figure it out. I don't know which one she likeed/wanted more. but we continued through the town and I am sure she got a bunch of great pictures. 

We walked the town and talked family, which is a scary topic for me. We talked about my father. Most of you don't know, nor will ever know my father. I know who he is, my friends know of him, but he is not a huge factor in my life, except for the fact that he is my father. I explained that part of my life to Megan. How sad I am about it. How I wished it was different and how I used to fear that I would be like him. Megan again, working her magic, made me feel safe and at ease.

Now I don't want everyone to think that I am leaning on Megan. I just feel like I don't have to puff in front of her. I don't have to be the strongest of the strong. I can be open and honest with her. I don't have to carry the weight of the relationship. We are equal partners and that is a feeling I really haven't felt before.

As we left SJB we were making plans for dinner and gathering that night with the rest of my friends here in Monterey.  We made some calls. Yes I know that i made the call, but I like talking in the “we” or “us”, because from that point Megan and I are a unit. We do things together. I no longer act alone, or until I am told otherwise I will refer to us as “we”.  We left and ended up back at fisherman's wharf , only after a bit of misplanning and trying to figure out where we would all meet up, we ended up at the wharf and waiting on phone calls. In the  mean time we had such a wonderful talk about life and the Gospel and what we wanted from life, where we saw each other in 5 years, career goals and just normal BS.

I want you guys to know that I remember the substance of those conversations, but mostly I don't go into it because those are special to me. Our time, our one-on-one time, is just that. If i wanted everyone to know every perfect detail of our weekend, I would write it down, trust me. I am on page 10 here so I could keep going forever, if i wanted to. But these talks are so special to me that I want you to know that we talked and we are happy with what we talked about.

We walked the wharf and took a ton of pictures, I know Megan wanted more, but it is what it is.  We found Megan's charms and randomly ran into one of my law professors.  I told her that watching the salt water taffy being made is something that is so relaxing to me.  I need to point out here that Megan, like my self, says hi to everyone as they walk by. It is those little things, like giving money to the homeless guy with the sign or saying hi to people or making an effort with my friends, that make my soul smile. Those are the things that I love about her. They are little but those parts of her personality just sucked me in.

At the wharf we decided that we would do dinner with Amanda and have game night at her place. We go to Nob Hill and buy food for dinner that night and head back to Amanda's.

Now I could go into the Amanda's 100 question, 2.5 hour interview of Megan, but i really want Amanda to do that, so I’ll leave it at that. Megan answered everything perfectly and really showed how much she cared for me. From that point forward I had no problem holding her hand and showing more affection to her. She put it out there. She held her self out and that act of pure vulnerability showed me that she is right for me.

That night we played games, and even our sometimes crude humor didn’t seem to bother her as she laughed. We had political conversations about teacher unions and she held her own. Even though her opinion is not parallel with mine, she held her own and we were able to agree to disagree. What needs to be said about our politics is that we have the same basic agreement about issues, we just seek to solve those issues by different means. But that is it. The rest of the night was playing games and laughing very hard. I would like to point out that I won both  games, but more importantly I won her heart.

Amanda left and gave us some alone time so we talked for the rest of the night before sleepiness made it to hard to continue.  We had the biggest DTR of our short time together and this is when Megan put the question out. Where are we? I made it perfectly clear that i am only dating her and she is the object of my affection. Though I was incredibility tired I could see the smile on her face and the glitter in her eyes. I knew that I answered the question right.

That night sleep came to me nicely and I welcomed the rest, but dreaded the fact that when I awoke it would be Megan's last day here.


Day 2:  O’dark-thirty and a little PDA

Sleep depravation seems to be the norm since I hooked up with Chris, and Saturday, Nov. 12th drove that point home. We had committed to going over to Ben and Kari’s house to make them breakfast after they got off their shift. Actually, what happened is several weeks earlier I had made my family breakfast and sent the picture to Chris. He shares it with Ben and next thing I know I get a text, “Ben wants you to make us breakfast.” And that’s how I ended up crawling out of my bed after 4 hours of sleep.

Chris picked me up at 5:45am so that we could go to the store, shop for food, get to Ben & Kari’s house and have the meal cooked by 7:30am, that way Ben and Kari could chow down before crashing after an all-night shift. That was the plan anyways.

So, you’re probably asking, what was on the menu – waffles from scratch, homemade pear syrup, scrambled eggs, and bacon. I have to say that when those waffles were coming off the waffle maker they smelled amazing…but let’s get back to the important part of the breakfast, meeting Ben and Kari.

I’m sure that during the very first conversation that I ever had with Chris, I’m talking back in September, the name Ben came up. In fact, I don’t know that we’ve had a conversation since then that hasn’t included the name Ben at some point. I don’t know if it would be an exaggeration to say that Ben is the other half of Chris. As Chris told me “I looked over in my crib and there was Ben,” or something to that effect. This breakfast was ALL about being vetted by the family.  I was on stage and my performance had better count if I was thinking of sticking around.

I first met Kari, the truly better-half of Ben. She was home first (also does a night shift in dispatch) and we hit it off right from the start. Our conversation flowed easily, and I appreciated her openness and ready smile. She takes Chris’s teasing and dishes it right back. And on top of that she has the MOST awesome oven that I totally covet and some pans I was going to slip into my purse if it wouldn’t be so obvious (Kari, I still want that purple pan!). Kari let me invade her kitchen and I made myself right at home. So breakfast was beautiful and ready to be consumed (with enough for at least 12 people – cuz that’s how I roll) by 8:00am.

But we waited for Ben………and waited……and waited. And wouldn’t you know it, that morning would be the morning that he had car problems at work.

About 10:00am Ben and the tow truck finally get home. And my breakfast has died a horrible death waiting.  Now Chris will tell you that it was great, but his opinion is biased towards me.  I was kind of sad cuz I really, really wanted to make a good impression and instead I was serving floppy waffles, brown eggs (don’t normally cook/keep warm on a gas stove) and soggy bacon. However, I can say that everyone seemed to dig in with no problem.

This is where I got to really met Ben for the first time, with my eyes open.  He makes me smile. It’s hard to describe the relationship he and Chris have, you pretty much just have to sit back in awe. They’re a stand-up comedy team. They’re like Captain & Tennille, Sonny & Cher,  and Abbott & Costello. They sing, they dance, they tell jokes, they recite movies, and they finish each others sentences. Really it’s that bad. After we set the table with all the food, Kari and I spent the next 2 hours being entertained by the “Chris & Ben Show”. By the time we left, my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing so much. I’d like to think I made a good impression that morning (and it wasn’t because of the food), because Ben and Kari sure made a good impression upon me.

After leaving Ben & Kari’s we went driving, you know, the old fashion “driving,” where Chris literally just picked some random roads in the Monterrey hillside to meander through. The views were incredible – passing vineyards, old battered barns, strawberry fields, and rolling hills – and it gave us more time just to talk.

Eventually Chris drove up to a little old town called San Juan Batista. The town is centered around an old Spanish mission. Perfectly picturesque, quant, historical, and dare I say slightly romantic, it was perfect! Chris had been listening to all my ramblings during the day about my love of history, archaeology in particular, and picked up on my compulsion to take pictures so San Juan Batista was an ideal place to indulge both. We wandered around the town, me taking pictures and Chris schlepping my camera bag. And I finally got the gumption to ask him to take a picture with me – wasn’t sure if it was too “cutesy coupley” for him. At this point I didn’t care, I was worried that I’d have the most amazing weekend of my life and no pictures of the two of us to show for it.  He of course smiled and indulged me. After walking through the mission, we strolled down the old town streets, stopping to check out a few antique shops, all the while talking, but never holding hands. Yes…it’s true he still hadn’t held my hand by this point. Granted this is only like our second day we’ve ever been together, but at this point I was thinking that I was going to have to be the one to make the first move.

After leaving San Juan Batista we did a bunch more driving around, just sightseeing.  I’d see an interesting road, and Chris would take it. Remember our trip motto – sit back and enjoy the ride – well we certainly did that Saturday afternoon.

Later that afternoon we made a quick stop to say hi to Chris’s friends Shannon & Greg. And then we were off to visit Fisherman’s Warf in Monterey, a great little boardwalk packed with restaurants, shops, and people. It was the quintessential boardwalk. I was able to pick up my souvenirs for this trip – two silver charms for my travel bracelet, a lighthouse and the San Francisco Bridge, to remind me of this unforgettable weekend. More picture taking from the pier and then it was time to grab some groceries and head back to the Yellow House where we were having dinner with some of Chris’s family and friends.

Back at the Yellow House I finally got to meet Amanda (of the Amanda & Clinton duo). I had heard soooo much about Amanda, and she was particularly instrumental in this whole “thing” that Chris and I had going on at this point. In fact, Amanda and Clinton would fall into the “family” category. That meant I was going to be vetted again, and by a pro.

I will admit from the get-go that I liked Amanda, probably because 1) she takes such good care of Chris, 2) she and her husband introduced Chris to the gospel, 3) she takes such good care of her husband (which does have implications for me because I’m related to her husband), 4) even prior to meeting her we had FB messaged a few times and she’s been championing me from a far.  So I was more than happy to submit to her Spanish-inquisition-style questioning.  While Amanda made a taco ring for dinner, the three us crowded into their tiny galley style kitchen and talked. Actually, mostly Amanda asked questions, I answered and chopped veges and Chris just smiled and mashed avacados.

We had a great dinner and a chance to talk.

After dinner, two of their friends Jeff & Sarah came over to play games. Super fun couple! We piled into Clinton & Amanda’s converted garage/game room/spare bedroom/family room and proceeded to spend 2 hours laughing and teasing over a game of Apples to Apples. You really learn a lot about people playing that game – probably more than I wanted.  Eventually Sarah & Jeff had to go home to relieve the babysitter.

This is where I will tell you that IT finally happened.Yes, Chris actually busted out with the PDA – for those of you who are unfamiliar with that acronym it would be Public Displays of Affection.  During the game Chris started to put his arm around me, an occasional hand on the knee, and eventually *drum roll please* the hand hold! Yahoo!!! Once he saw that I wasn’t gonna give him the stink-eye or jerk away, we were ALL GOOD!

Once Sarah & Jeff left, Amanda, Chris and I stayed up another hour to play Ticket to Ride (one of my all time favorite games). I’m sooo relieved that Chris likes to play games. He’ll fit into my family much better that way.

After wrapping up the game, Chris and I were able to grab some time (not much cuz I was fading fast) to do some more talking (like we hadn’t gotten enough of it that day). My thoughts had been swirling around and around the question of what happens once I go home? What did this weekend really mean to our relationship? I guess I was just looking for clarify on what I meant to him?  In past relationships, I was too chicken to say anything, not wanting to put undue pressure on anyone. But, forget that, I was just going to be upfront and honest with Chris so I asked.
“So what happens now? Once I go back to AZ? Do we just go back to talking on the phone, occasionally meeting each other and dating other people?” 
“Yeah, no dating other people. I’m not interested in seeing anyone else. And I don’t want you dating anyone.”
“OK then. We’re exclusive. Got it.  Then the rest...we’ll just see what happens?”
“Yeah, for now.”
That ladies and gentlemen was our first DTR talk – that would be Define the Relationship. And I thought it went pretty well.  I can tell you that I went to sleep that night with another big smile on my face.


  1. Well I've got to say that for having as lousy a morning as I'd had prior to arriving home, I was greeted with a triple-set of smiles and laughter, and knew I had missed out on a great part of the morning.. It took only a minute for the fun & hilarity to take over and bring back my happy face.

    Megan is right about Chris and I, put us together and we're a duo to be reckoned with. The stories can literally go on for hours on tangents undefinable by any logical sense of thought or path of discovery, and its the first time I heard the Beatles.

    Megan, your photos are wonderful. You have a educated sense of composition, and I definitely see lots of photo outings for us in the future. Chris and Kari can go along and keep each other entertained, but we've got some serious shutter-bugging to do. Next trip the three of us should come visit AZ and get some desert shots! :D

    Chris: Continue the joke.

  2. Thank you Ben!! I look forward to many such opportunities in the years to come. Maybe next year, this time, I'll come cook again on you fantastic stove! And Kari and I can once again enjoy the Ben and Chris show. Happy Thanksgiving!!