Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wordful Wednesday - My Mr. Knightly

My last year of college I shared a room with my sister. We would often fall asleep listening the audio of the movie Emma. That Miramax opening, even when I hear it at the start of a different movie, always makes me think of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam.  While listening, my sister and I would sometimes talk about what kind of man we pictured the other marrying and she would say such nice things as "I can't see you getting married" or "I have no idea what kind of man is right for you".  These weren't great things to hear when you were a girl in Provo, returned from your mission, and finishing your last year of BYU.  I didn't feel pressure to get married.  I was actually more worried about what I was going to do when I got out into the real world and left the life of a student. I really wanted to just be a student forever.  I would jokingly tell my sister that I was just going to have to go out into the world and find myself my own Mr. Knightly.

I don't know why exactly I choose Mr. Knightly as my particular Austen hero.  Being a big Jane Austen fan I had all her wonderful but different matches swimming in my head. I loved the humorous and witty Mr. Tilney.  The goodness and sense of duty of Mr. Darcy or Mr. Ferrars was, of course, desirable.  Captain Wentworth's undying love was very romantic. But I think I liked the idea of  Mr. Knightly because he sort of had all those things in one.

So I came home to California and spent a year trying to figure out what direction I was going to take. I got a job and moved three times. I quit that job and substitute taught for a bit so see if I wanted to teach.  Finally a friend of mine who was going to college in the bay area needed a roommate and since I wasn't tied to anything in particular I decided to go to the Silicon Valley where there were jobs a plenty and dot coms were still in their hey day.

My first day in the area I went to a singles ward FHE. My friend and I were set on going to the family ward but decided we should go to singles wards activities.  The activity that night was dodge ball. The ladies all sat on the stage while the men threw balls at each other. None of us wanted to venture out onto the gym floor.  But after the game there were refreshments and some mingling.

My friend and I sat and talked to a few different people and one of them was the temple coordinator in that singles ward. He was rather excited to find two ladies that had served missions and could go to the temple. It is always easier to get the guys to go to the temple if they know there are some females that will also be there I guess.  So he got our information so he could make sure we went to the next temple trip which just happened to be that Saturday. I am sure you can guess who that temple coordinator was, right?!

I spent the next day trying to find a job and the job market being what it was then I had interviews at a few different places that day and the next.  These weren't great jobs but it would be something.  I was offered a job at one of the places that day and would start immediately.  I knew I would need some more professional looking clothes but being new in the area didn't really know where to go to find something.

Wednesday night after being offered the job I got a call from that Temple coordinator to see if we were still interested in going up to Oakland on Saturday.  In the course of conversation I told him about getting a job and wanting to go shopping. He offered to come and take me to the mall.

So our first date was to the mall.  We ate some Chinese food at the food court and spent the rest of our time wandering from store to store. We discussed places we had traveled when we went into the luggage store.  We looked through the bookstore and talked about books we liked.  We sampled lotions and scents at Bath and Body works and really had fun at The Museum Store (that one isn't in the mall anymore which is sad.  It was our favorite!) looking at art and historical things. It was a great first date. We learned a whole lot about each other and what we liked and didn't like. I didn't however get any clothes. I didn't even look for any. Who wants to try on clothes on a first date!

So he took me out again on Friday and then even took me to the temple for the temple trip on Saturday. My roommate/friend couldn't come.  It was pretty much fast forward from there. He quickly became a fixture in my life. Spent just about every evening together and we emailed each other throughout the day. I went with him to his friend's wedding receptions and work parties. He even couldn't be without me for a weekend so when he needed to fly to his brother's house for a weekend for something he bought me a ticket and I went too.  We had so much fun together.  We went to movies, dancing, on hikes,  drives,  and concerts, we sometimes even stayed in and read books aloud to each other.  We really became best friends.

I did take him home to meet my family as well.  He would talk about politics, history or finance with my parents.  He became a favorite with Julie, my sister with downs syndrome.   They really liked him but....

He was old! He is a whole 8 years my senior.  He certainly didn't seem that old to me except when he talked about music he listened to in high school or when he told me the year he graduated from high school or something and I realized I was only in like 4th grade that year.   My mom would ask me questions like "How can he be 30 and not married?" or "Is there something wrong with him?".  Ok. So those weren't her exact questions but that was what she was thinking and I am sure what most people were thinking about a 30 year old man.

My sister, the one that couldn't see me married and couldn't picture anyone that I would match well to, said that he was alright but didn't know if he would be is favorite in-law.  

But despite my parents worries about the age difference and my sister's lack of enthusiasm we got engaged a little over 3 months after meeting. And were married about 4 months after that.  We just knew we wanted to spend the rest of forever together.

So in the end I did find my Mr. Knightly although I am most definitely not an Emma. I am much more of a Elinor so perhaps he should be my Edward but I will always think of him as My Mr. Knightly.

This is supposed to be part of Cocoa's Wordful Wednesday post from last week. I am a bit late but just in time for Valentine's Day.


Karen said...

Hey now! You are making me out to be such a jerk! :)

I don't remember saying all those things. But then, I guess you got me back by saying you can't see me as a Mom. So, now you are married and I am a Mom. We sure showed each other!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Sweet story! And great to know from the very beginning you were both worthy temple recommend holders.

Your age difference is only 1 year more than ours but at the time we got married NOBODY was saying anything about the age difference. They only fussed about my age.

The Henry's said...

That's so sweet! I loved reading it!