(No idea what I'm talking about? Get caught up here!)
Two days after our first date, Douglas joined me at my cousin Wendy's apartment for a dessert party. Wendy(Rama) and I got together with our Carlsbad friends semi-regularly and the functions usually revolved around food of some sort. Usually dessert.
Doug and I arrived at Wendy's apartment at The Riv where we were joined by Kristen and Shawn (married), Wendy, (maybe her latest boy-toy?) probably some of her roommates, and Mindy and Matt who were dating.
It just so happened Wendy's parents were in town. My fabulous Uncle Clyde and marvelous Aunt Jeanette. (Remember Uncle Clyde has already been mentioned as an important character in this saga!) They stopped by that night and Doug and Uncle Clyde immediately hit it off. My Uncle Clyde is a dentist. He actually served in the military in the Vietnam War as a dentist. I watched them talking animatedly and felt happy that Doug was with me.
(When they went home to Carlsbad, they gave my mom, who was living there at the time, a very favorable review of the boy I brought to Wendy's party. Doug had earned their seal of approval. They weren't the only one's he impressed. All my friends told me later that they really liked him.)
The thing about that night was, I had an additional engagement scheduled for after the party that I hadn't discussed with Doug. When the party was wrapping up, I told Doug that Matt had asked me for some help and asked if he'd like to come with me.
Matt was a film major and that night he'd gotten permission to use a local photography studio for a few hours to work on a film project for school. He was making a Mac Computer commercial and had asked Bryant and I to be in it. Yes, the same Bryant from the Rock Garden. (I met Bryant through Matt and Mindy. They were all in the same ward.) (Yes. I did find Bryant on Facebook.)
The instructions Matt had given me for that night went something like this: "bring a really sexy outfit." Hmm. Okay.
The premise of Matt's commercial was this: A man (Bryant) has a choice between two doors. He walks up to door #1 and looks in the peep hole. He sees a ravishing and fantastically beautiful woman... (that would be me, people). He then goes to door #2 and looks in the peep hole...he sees a Mac computer.
He picks door #2
(It was actually a really funny commercial.)
When we got to the studio, Matt and Mindy were setting everything up to do Bryant's part first. Matt led us into a dressing room and offered me his theater make-up telling me to get prettied up.
Then he left us alone sitting in front of the dressing room mirror. For the next hour or so, we talked. We talked about life and school and family and friends and all sorts of things. The conversation flowed smoothly while we stared into each other's eyes by way of the mirror. (Did I ever mention that Doug has the BEST blue/green eyes? They're very pretty!)
I was sorry when we were interrupted...
"I thought you said you knew how to put on liquid eye-liner!!!" Matt rebuked when he entered the room.
He then proceeded to put it on for me and thus began my film career.
Now, you know how when Oprah started out, her show was pretty trashy? Well, my job that night was to sit on a stool in a short skirt and look seductive. (Hey! You take what you can get in Hollywood!)
I was woefully unprepared for the part.
As you may have noticed from reading my blog, I don't take myself very seriously.
And I had no other acting skills to speak of. I never took dance as a kid, (which involves using your body to relay a message to the audience...usually while wearing spandex of some sort) or drama or acting...I took 10 years of violin lessons. And I was never, EVER required to look seductive at a recital.
This was entirely new territory for me. I was so embarrassed I couldn't do anything but blush and giggle. I made Mindy and Doug leave the room but it didn't help. (Little did I know they were right around the corner and were still watching and listening.)
Matt tried to coach me and coax me into hamming it up. "Come on! Pretend you're a Playboy model!!!" he joked. It didn't work. I couldn't relax and I couldn't make myself stare deeply into the camera and wink. I just couldn't do it.
Matt DID finish the commercial, but my acting career began and ended that night.
On the way home, Doug let loose on Matt. "I can't believe that guy! That was totally inappropriate! I was THIS CLOSE to telling him off!"
I was shocked and amused! We'd just met and yet he wanted to defend my honor!! I had to laugh and assured him Matt really was a good guy and my virtue was still intact. (He eventually forgave Matt. They're friends now.)
That night I came to an important conclusion. But before I tell you what it was, we need to jump even further back in time.
Flash back to June, 1994
I was 16. I was the last kid left at home living in Salt Lake City with my parents who were NOT happily married and hadn't been for as long as I could remember. (Six months later I would move with my mom to Carlsbad.)
In my Mia Maid class at church, we had a lesson on marriage. We talked about what kind of person we wanted to marry. We were then asked to list everything we wanted in our future spouse, in a letter to ourselves. We were given stationary and told to seal the letter and keep it for the future. We could open it later when we found the man of our dreams to see how he measured up.
Remember how I said I keep everything? Sometimes being a pack rat pays off. This is the letter I wrote in June of 1994: (It currently resides in my Wedding Album.)
And now back to April, 2000.
Shortly after meeting Doug, I started keeping a mental tally in my head of his pluses and minuses.
Pluses; Goes to BYU, has a definite career goal, (good aspects...I mean prospects!!) spiritual, handsome, funny, down-to-earth, rock climbs, similar family values, gentleman, worthy priesthood holder, loves his family....CHECK CHECK CHECK!
Minuses; played tennis in High School* and listens to Country Music. (bleh!)
I decided those last two were of no eternal import and decided to forgive him. Oh, and he was tall, BLONDE, and handsome instead of tall, DARK, and handsome as clearly specified on the reverse side of my letter. But I let that slide too.
That night I made a decision. It was our second date and I distinctly remember thinking;
"I could marry this guy!"
And four months later, I did!
(Was that too abrupt? Should I go on? You tell me. I'm just really tired tonight. But I'm just here to make you happy, so tell me what you desire!!!)
*Sorry tennis players. It's just that at the time I associated tennis players with short white shorts and sweaters draped over shoulders. I've since forsaken that evil view and now look very favorably upon all the tennis players of the world.