Friday, January 12, 2007

To All the Girls I've Loved Before
Part VI

I went on a total of six dates during my high school career: two Mistletoe Balls, two Junior Proms, and two Senior Proms. Considering how both Mistletoe Balls turned out, and the fact that for one of those Junior Proms I was an emergency backup date for a girl who pretty much ditched me once we got there, you may wonder why I did not give up on females altogether, particularly considering the fact that I don't tend to be hugely attracted to them. That, however, is a question for another day.

As I briefly alluded to yesterday, I had a fairly decent time at my Junior Prom with a girl who was actually happy to be my date. I had an even better time at both the Senior Proms I went to. My senior year in high school I spent a lot of time at my friend Dandypratt's house and attended many of his church activities (his family had moved out of my ward halfway through high school but he continued going to the same school because he's stubborn like that). At one of these activities, a ballroom dance night, I was partnered up with Red, a fun redhead who, along with her two younger sisters, made it clear quickly that she was interested in me. I was flattered by the attention, but didn't expect any more to come of it.

Then, one day, I got a phone call from Red. She wanted me to accompany her to her Senior Prom. We talked for an hour or so, and that's when I knew I was in love--I had never had such a long, comfortable phone conversation before with anyone. I hate talking on the phone, but for some reason talking with Red felt natural. So I invited her to my Senior Prom (I'm regretting my decision to capitalize Senior Prom now, but too lazy to go back and fix the earlier occurrences and too anal to change now for consistency's sake), and we had a blast at both.

I intended to ask her out again that summer, but never gathered the nerve despite the fact that our mutual attraction was obvious. Then I went to BYU and she went to BYU-Hawaii, and I figured that was that. Except that wasn't entirely that, because we wrote back and forth a couple times, and each time I got a letter (email? I don't remember) from her I was newly in love. I even prayed once to know if I was going to marry her, and the answer I thought I received was yes. It's strange in the first place that I would pray about such a thing as a college freshman, and stranger still now to consider how sure I was of that answer. Whether I misunderstood the answer or completely made it up, I think it's clear that things like marriage choices are not so fatalistically determined. If I had chosen to marry her and she had chosen to marry me, then the answer would have been yes. Obviously, the answer ended up being no.

I spent a couple years wavering between not thinking much about Red and remembering that I was madly in love with and destined to marry her. Fate showed its hand one last time when I was in Spain, halfway through my mission, visiting Madrid's Temple Square one day. I was minding my own business when I heard from high above me, "Master Fob!" This was unusual because I was accustomed at the time to being called Elder Fob, being a missionary and all. I looked up toward a fourth floor window of the Missionary Training Center on Temple Square, only to see... a face I couldn't quite make out. Thirty seconds later, Red, bearing a black nametag that said Hermana Red and followed closely by another sister missionary, came running out of the MTC entrance. She was, as it turns out, on her way to a mission on the Canary Islands, and very happy to see me. I was happy to see her too. We exchanged addresses--but not hugs, as that was illegal for missionaries--and I spent one final month or so of believing that Red was the one for me. Sadly, though, I never got around to using her address and she never got around to using mine.

One of the sister missionaries in my district, who observed and later teased me incessantly about the Temple Square reunion with Red, was one Hermana FoxyJ. About three years later, I ran into Red once more, this time while standing in line at a movie theater in Provo, accompanied by a very pregnant FoxyJ. This last reunion was, at best, awkward.


Th. said...


This reminds me powerfully of a tale I must tell someday....

Earth Sign Mama said...

I met up with a former boyfriend right after his mission in a similiar fashion. He'd extended his mission with unfortunate timing, because I'd wanted to tell him we were through IN PERSON. And I did---he came through the wedding reception line the day he came back home and shook my hand and that of my new husband. Ooooh--bad timing. I never did get to talk to him and say "Sorry, I didn't want to Dear John you in a letter."