Thursday, December 30, 2010
upon the occassion of our seventh anniversary
I met Brigham a few months after explicitly committing myself to a fairly formulaic dating regime. Essentially, I decided to quit dating men that were not, in my dad's word, "marriageable." Nice and funny were not enough any more; I needed someone who was serious about a real career, someone who could be a spiritual leader to me without being off-putting or judgmental of the little things like that I had to stop reading the Book of Mormon every day because the thought of a lifetime of perpetual rounds of reading the same thing that was not Harry Potter was just too much at one point, someone who was steady in mood, reliable and responsible. As someone whose favorite movie is Clear and Present Danger, I consulted my feelings for Jack Ryan and knew the truth: I need a man to whose back I could strap myself to be lifelessly carried through all of life's travails (and I am a feminist)
Our first date was to see the Mormon Short-Film Festival at the Provo Library. (During which we saw a clip of Napoleon Dynamite, a movie to which our reaction was identical in a way that is bizarrely important to me--we loved it the first time, wondered what we liked so much about it the second time, and back to love the third. Very bonding.) I barely knew the guy, but the activity selection gave me a positive impression. He may not remember this part, but even the conversation we had at my carell about the prospect of the Film Festival was perfect. He just got me, and I got him, and that was all there was to it.
The date was great and was followed by a series of other very impressive dates to such places as midnight runs to the Provo Hospital cafeteria (best milkshake in town!) and breakfast for dinner at Cracker Barrel (still a favorite, and I thought I hated the place). He was everything on my list, and, though I tried to not place too much emphasis on it, he was funny, too.
Brigham, meanwhile, didn't have a list. But he made one about me. After dropping me off at the conclusion of that first date, he enthusiastically punched the ceiling of the car in which we would later take our first born son home from the hospital for finally finding the type of girl he was looking for. (This still gets him a lot of credit from me). He wrote down in his notebook two things that he liked about me. Neither of us can remember the first (I think it was that I was an easy laugh) and the second was some observation I made about one of the film shorts. I liked that he was thinking like that.
As helpful as my list was to eliminating prospects that were not going to be right for me, in the end it just came down to a gut-check. After all, there are lots of guys who are serious and fun and kind and spiritual and smart. I knew and cared for a few. It got quite confusing, truly. The list could only take me so far. My heart took me to Brigham. I'm so glad I listened.