Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 15 is Special

Get comfortable folks. This is Adam and I am feeling chatty. I am going to tell you a story.

About 11 1/2 years ago my mom was working at a propane company and they needed to hire someone to drink Diet Pepsi. Their pop machine just had too much of the stuff. I think they also needed help with accounts receivable but I never was sure. They had several applicants and they decided on the most qualified. While looking over her resume the boss said to my mom "She seems like the best one but I have a feeling your son is going to come home from his mission, marry her and take her away" Mom said she felt the same way but they hired her anyway. This was my Julie. I had no intention of getting married right away. I even had a pair of shorts made with the number 26 on them because that was the age I was going to get married, or so I thought. She had no interest in getting married either, or so she thought.

About 2 or 3 years before she was hired to work at the propane shop I had thought about taking Julie out. I knew her a little since she lived near my Grandma Olsen. So. I called Grandma to get her phone number. Grandma made a call or two then called me back. She then told me I better find someone else to take out because Julie was already in a very steady relationship. So, I went on my way, found a different date that night (or more likely went dragging Main with 3 friends so we could "pick up chicks") and moved to St George to go Dixie College then onto the Philippines for my mission.

I had about 5 months left of my mission when I got a letter from my mom saying they had hired someone I might know. I wrote back and using all of the humbility I had learned on my mission told my mom to tell Julie she better have her guard up because when she saw how good looking I was she would fall in love. I don't remember writing any more about her or thinking too much about her the rest of my mission, I was still planning on the 26 thing. I remember Mom writing about Julie dating someone.

So, along comes July 8, 2000 and I get my first look at Utah in 2 years. We live in an amazing state. I remember riding on I-80 through Salt Lake and thinking how open and spacious everything was. It was so different from the packed cramped cities I saw in the Philippines. I remember talking about Julie on the ride home from the airport and Mom telling me she had a boyfriend. I was kind of hoping to see her but didn't think to much about it. I was speaking the next day in sacrament meeting and hoped she would be there. She on the other hand seemed to be fully aware of my facination with her and did what every girl should do when an RM seems to be zoning in on them. She hid. She didn't come to hear the speach I gave, she didn't come to the bbq after, she didn't call my mom to explain why she didn't come. They had become pretty good friends. I still wasn't too worried or thought too much about it.

A couple of days later I stopped in to see mom in the propane shop. I opened the door and this amazing, beautiful, smiling face popped up over the counter. Right then, I went from 'kind of interested' to full blown crushing on the girl. I couldn't beleive how much I liked to look at her. I think I managed to get a squeeky, bashful, "Hi Julie" out but probably not. I know I went over to try and talk to my mom but was busy staring at Julie and not listening to my mom. But I didn't have the guts to talk to her.

A few more days went by and I made excuses to go "see my mom" at work. On the 15th of July I finally had the courage worked up to ask Julie out. I was pretty lucky because that happened to be the week of the major social event of the year in Vernal: The Dinosaur Round-Up Rodeo. Everybody wanted to go to the rodeo, it was a must. I knew it was a sure fire "yes" if I asked her to the rodeo. I knew she had been rodeo queen and in my mind had to be very excited to go to the rodeo. One thing I wasn't sure about was how that pesky boyfriend would fit into the picture. He was the only reason I could see for her not wanting to go out with me. As I look back, I can come up with about 100 reasons why, but, at the time I couldn't.

I called her parent's house (so strange to think of way back when there weren't cell phones everywhere) from my parent's house. I need to do some quick geneology. There are 5 kids in my family, I'm the oldest, Jarod is 2 years younger, then Megan is 3 years younger than Jarod, then Rhett is 2 years younger than Megan, and Erin is 5 years younger than Rhett. If you do the math then you will see that Rhett is 7 years younger than I am. Which would make him 14 since I was 21.

Anyway, I called Julie's house and got her on the phone. I hadn't used a phone for 2 years and apparently forgot my phone etiquette. I didn't introduce myself, I promptly started running through my much rehearsed speach to ask her out. When I got done there was a little silence then she said "Is this Rhett?" Talk about crushed, let down, smashed, I was being confused for my baby brother. He was barely 14, couldn't drive, still was interested in chasing lizards (he still hasn't out grown that, a month ago I watched him chase one quite a ways before giving up), and wouldn't consider talking to a girl. He was such a cute kid.

After what seemed like forever, I was trying to get my bearings and translate what I wanted to say from Tagalog to English I explained that it was Adam, not Rhett, and I, Adam, not Rhett, would like to take her out. She was brutal, she asked "do you had something to drive?" She was so concerned with details. I had to get her to say yes before wasting any time on details like transportation or money to pay for anything. I was pretty sure my parents would let me borrow something so I told her "yes, I had something to drive." Then, "Do you even have a driver's license anymore?" After I told her I had renewed it before I left on my mission and that it was still good she finally agreed to go out with me. I took that to mean I was so awesome it was worth it to go out with me instead of her boyfriend.

Now for transportation. Mom had a suburban and Dad had a small Ford Ranger. After considering the options I asked Dad if I could borrow the Ranger. It wasn't as cool as the old pick up I had before my mission (plenty of rust, big tires, 4 wheel drive, CB antennaes (yep, 2 of'em), gun racks, spare tires (yep, 2 of them too) standing up in the bed) but it seemed better for a date than the suburban.

Dad let me borrow the ranger and I got all showered, and broke out my Wranglers I hadn't worn for 2 years and squeezed them on, my cowboy boots I hadn't worn for 2 years (but had everyday for 4 years before) and gave them a quick coat of polish, my straw cowboy hat (brim was messed up because of an altercation at a rodeo a few years earlier) and my Prefered Stock cologne. I remember wondering what she would look like when I got there to pick her up: hat or no hat, what color of hat, colored pants or not, boots or shoes, tall boots or short boots

I headed over to her house, I knew where it was since it was so close to my grandma's. I had never actually been to the house though. There are a bunch of trees between the house and the road. I knew it was back there behind the trees so I headed down the driveway. I got to the to the front of the house and had a problem right away. Which door to knock on? There was a front door and a side door. I was parked closer to the side door and from the looks of things it got more use, but the other door was obviously the front door. I sat in the truck for a minute trying to decide which door to go to and wondering why she couldn't just live in a normal house that only had a front door. Then she saved me the trouble. She came out the front door before I had a chance to get out of the truck.

She looked amazing. She was wearing denim bibs with a pink shirt under them. She had her hair done curly and she had on some brown shoes. I then started to scramble to get out of the truck and around the front to open her door for her. My feet hit the ground and forgot I was now wearing cowboy boots with slick soles. Going around the front of the truck I slipped and had to catch myself on the hood of the truck. I was so embarressed and really hoped this wasn't how the rest of the night was going to go. She had the class to not say anything about my clumsiness. We made it the rodeo without any major mishaps. I hadn't driven a standard in 2 years but don't remember killing it on the way there. She started talking to me right away and didn't appear at all nervous. I remember thinking how amazing it was that a girl so pretty was even talking to me, let alone going to the rodeo with me. I was on cloud 9.

We got parked and I once again tried to make a mad dash around the truck to open her door for her. She was already out by the time I got halfway around and told me I really didn't need to open her door. I guess I borrowed some money from my dad to pay for us getting into the rodeo. I don't remember much about the rodeo other than loving the fact it was packed, so Julie had to sit really close to me. I remember staring at her hands in her lap. She had a small ring and such pretty slender fingers. I sure wasn't going to try and hold one of those hands though.

When the rodeo was over we were walking around and I was having a great time getting to see so many of my old friends. A few asked if we wanted to go to JB's restaurant with them. It didn't even occur to me that, Julie may have had enough of me and really wasn't interested in listening to us get caught up on the last couple of years. She was smiley, agreed to go and seemed to have a good time. Since she knew most of the guys and had been in FFA with them we all had a good time. We went to JB's and they all ordered coffee. I was appalled being fresh from spending 2 years preaching the evils of coffee. But, we still had a great time, it was so much fun to listen to Ryan Kunkel, Cody Long, and Justin Harrison talk about what they had been doing for the last 2 years. We had been best friends before I left but writing letters was just too much work, we didn't hear from each other while I was gone. They were my dragging Main buddies.

After quite a while Julie made a comment about needing to get home so she could get to work in the morning. We left JB's and I was already making up excuses in my head to go "see my mom" at work the next day. We got back to her house and she headed to the side door. I got out and walked her to the door not quite sure what to do: shake hands, hug, kiss, suck my thumb, who knew. She was so laid back about it and didn't seem to be having the stress I was. She walked straight to her door then turned around before she went in and told me thanks and that we would have to do something again sometime. I was ready to do a triple backflip to hear her say that. I floated back to Dad's ranger and headed home with the phrase "we'll have to do something again" bouncing around and around in my head. It had been a success, she thought I was worth going out with again.

We dated a full 2.5 months and she got a ring then we were engaged for another 2.5 months and go married on December 16, 2000. She really wrecked my "not get married until I'm 26 plan" and I am so glad she did. We had 2 kids by the time I was 26. I am so glad she agreed to go out with me 11 years ago. She is the love of my life and I am so grateful to have been blessed with her. We have had some bumps and scrapes since that fateful night at the rodeo but I can't imagine my life without her. Thanks Babe I love you!!!