Monday, March 16, 2009

And the Story Begins...

***This story is dedicated to Lisaway, because if she hadn't kept insisting she wanted to read it, I probably would never have started it. Even though I always wanted to. But I'm not going to try to do the whole thing one post after another - just so you know - because it's going to take me awhile. It's a long story...***

It was June. I had just turned twenty. I had been staying with my brother since the middle of April (I was between Ricks and BYU), and I had exactly zero friends. Each Sunday, I took my strangely-shy-when-I-don't-know-anyone self to the large singles ward, sat alone, and wished I had the guts to make friends.

It was pathetic.

Then my sister Annie came to visit. While she was there, we attended the Spokane Regional Conference (for our church). If you've never been to a regional conference, let me just say that they are HUGE. Thousands of people start showing up hours early, traffic is a madhouse, and parking is impossible. Annie and I were only about twenty minutes early, and somehow secured a spot only yards from a door. I'm not even sure what we were doing in that parking lot, other than being extremely optimistic.

We parked, and for some reason I felt like sitting in the car for a few minutes. Shortly thereafter, this familiar looking girl walked in front of our car, and I suddenly realized it was Angie - an old roomie of mine, whom I hadn't seen for about two years. It was so nice to see someone I knew, and we sat together and exchanged info.

Then I returned to my hermitage, and Annie left. Did I mention that after two months of no social life I had become completely anti-social, and convinced no one would want to be my friend anyway? So when Angie started calling every week to invite me to her little singles branch Sports Nights, I conveniently had "things" to do. Why go face more rejection? Besides, they were playing softball, and I hate softball. Girls with my equipment don't exactly enjoy running bases in a co-ed environment.

Finally, the third week she called, my brother gave me a lecture. I was ungrateful. I was rude. That nice girl had been inviting me for weeks, and I needed to go at least once. And I needed to stop being such a lame-o, loner, loser anyway.


So I called Angie back, and planned to go late, take my basketball, skip softball, and leave early. It was about a forty-five minute drive to her branch, and I showed up a fashionable thirty minutes late. As I pulled in, I noticed three things:

1)That guy on the pitcher's mound with the hat on was cute, but a little short. (My previous {and only} two boyfriends had been 6'5, and 6'3).

2)That guy standing next to the motor bike was cute. Tall, dark haired, and totally my type.

3)Angie was in the outfield. There was no way I was going over there.

So I grabbed my ball, waved at her, and headed into the church. But it was a little boring to be in there alone, when there were all those people out there. I mean, I am - by nature - a sociable creature, and I was completely and totally starved for after twenty minutes or so I peeked outside. Angie's team was up to bat, and she was sitting on the grass. I decided to take the plunge.

Carefully avoiding any eye contact - lest anyone think I was there to make friends - I beelined for Ang, and sat down. We chatted for approximately two minutes before she was up to bat.

And I was left all alone, sitting by myself, with no one to talk to.

Until this guy comes up to me. He says something funny - which I can't recall at all - and starts talking to me. I quickly realize it's the guy from the pitcher's mound, and next thing I know we're chatting. He's totally hilarious, really friendly, and I keep thinking that it's almost like he knows who I am. And then we have the following conversation:

Him: (With a questioning look on his face) You're Jen, right?

Me: (Wondering if Angie told everyone all about her anti-social friend, and ordered them to be nice to me) Yes.

Him: You play volleyball, right?

Me: Uh, I did until eleventh grade.

Him: And you used to come here, right?

Me: No, I've never been here before.

Him: But your name's Jen -

Me: Yes.

Him: And you play volleyball -

Me: Kind of.

Him: But you've never been here and played volleyball?

Me: No.

Him: Oh. I totally thought you were this other girl I used to know named Jen. She used to come here. And play volleyball.

And that was how we met...


LisAway said...


This is great. He really got you mixed up with a different Jen? Who used to play volleyball?

I'm really excited for this story. You're such a good story teller. I hope you make it last for many many posts. I'm all about the details.

But please don't make us wait too long in between episodes. . .

Laura said...

Hahaha! How is it I have never heard these details? Probably because I was the boring married sister that everyone forgot about because they were too busy having fun chasing boys while I was having babies, lol!

Jen said...

Lisa - No problem on the "many, many, posts" thing. And I've been so short on interesting things to blog about, you might not have to wait too long.

Laura - I can't believe you've never heard this story!

Robyn said...

Son fun to hear your story. I have heard bits and pieces over the years, and I think most of them were from Angie.

Alison Wonderland said...

You went inside and played basketball at the softball activity? You are weird.

Barbaloot said...

K-I totally would've avoided softball, too. It's an evil sport.

Jen said...

See Alison, I'm not wierd. Thanks Barbaloot.

Lost in the Laundry said...

I totally forgot that I called so many times. I must have missed you terribly and really wanted to connect up again. Glad to see you're getting the story out.

Annie Valentine said...

No Jen, you're weird. I never should have left you alone that summer. Well, Rusty did kind of make up for it though, didn't he?

R Max said...

So, are you SURE you aren't the Jen that used to come "here" and play volleyball?

I also swing wildly between I-can't-talk-to-anyone-here, please-let-me-go-home AND maniac social butterfly. It's the gemini in me.

nikkicrumpet said...

LOL I think that is so sad you went inside all by yourself just to avoid people. I can't figure it out...If I looked like you I'd be hanging around mass groups of people just so everyone could admire how pretty I was! I love hearing stories of how people this is going to be fun! And it's a good thing there are so many Jen's who play volleyball!

That Girl in Brazil said...

I'm all squatting down Indian-style (in a computer chair - I'm gifted), waiting for the next part of the story.

Can I get a resounding, "Awwwwwwwwww"?!

Claire said...

you can't keep me haning on like that! Hurry up and let us hear more!

I finished reading all the twilight books, so there's a gap in my life that needs to be filled. And I NEED my fill of a beautiful romance story! You are the new Bella... though no doubt you aren't as annoying as she was... but that's another story, right?

Anyhoo - hurry up and get typing!

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I love these stories, and you know why? They are ALWAYS a miracle. It boggles my mind how love happens with all the complications and all our insecurities and self-defeating behavior. It's great.

Jen said...

Steph - you have no idea. Yet. But someday when I finally get to the happy-ever-after, you will look back at this comment and know that you are a prophetess.

Melissa Bastow said...

Have I ever mentioned that your awesome?!! Also, we might be soul sisters. The more I know about you, the more I'm sure we were twins separated at birth. Except that I was hoping for the motor bike dude. So in my mind, we were both hanging out on the grass being uncomfortable hermits and you got the volleyball conversation while I got to go for a wild and romantic (or probably awkward) ride with the tall, dark haired guy (of course, all due to his effort, because I also do the no-eye-contact thing.) Then we could have talked boys on the 45 minute drive home. Yeah, I'm totally inserting myself into your past. This is gonna be great.

Natalie said...

What cracks me up about this is if I remember correctly, both you & rusty aren't fans of softball / baseball. ??? It seems like you should love it since it brought you together. ;-)

Jen said...

Melissa - you are totally in.

Natalie - very interesting point...unless you consider that it was NOT playing softball that actually got us together.

Shelley said...

This is great!!! I'm waiting patiently for the rest...well maybe not so patiently! Do tell.

Anonymous said...

What happened to the guy by the motor bike??!!! I mean, I can already foresee your happily-ever-after, so I'm dying to know, what happened to him?

No, just kidding -- this is better than any reality show ever. Why don't they do that, by the way? A real show starring real people telling their real stories? 'Cause everybody has a story to tell, and no matter how simple, it's always sweet!

jane said...

i love it.

my husband and I met at a men's intraumural basketball game at SUU... sports events are obviously the place to meet!

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

Sorry, I ahd not been here for a while but last time I was here you talked about posting your love story, so today since I have time for serious blog surfing I ahd to search your blog for this post first before I read your other posts :-) I love love-stories especially when written by great story-tellers/writers like you. I'll go search for the next post now.