Sunday, December 4, 2016

halos on evergreens

On this day 10 years ago, at this approximate time, something happened that was a ~~big deal~~

at the time. It was a big deal at the time. It was...oh man. It was such a deal.

I wrote something about it as my autobiographical fragment for my creative writing class in 2008 so it's immortalized for me forever. Here it is.

I hadn’t thought the night could get any more awkward. After virtually inviting myself over to a boys’ apartment to wait out the hours until one of them, Jonathan (whom I was hopelessly infatuated with), opened his mission call, feeling conversation stilt and falter, and watching as the appointed time came and the lobby filled with girls that all knew each other and him a lot more than I knew anyone there, I was seriously reconsidering the wisdom of attending the event.
That was before every single girl (and the few guys that came) gave him a hug in congratulations.I dithered. My infatuation with Jonathan didn’t extend to my being comfortable enough with him to give him a hello when I saw him on campus, let alone a hug. Unfortunately, I waited so long that I was the only one (besides Jonathan’s roommate Robert) still there. 

Finally, there was nothing for it but to approach him.I stuck out my hand. 

“Well . . . obligatory missionary handshake.”

“Uh, yeah, I guess so.” (Is it any wonder I liked him so much?)

We shook hands.

“Good luck,” I added. “Thanks for letting me come.”

“Thank you for sacrificing your sleep.” Because his family lived in Sweden, he waited until 11:00 to open his call so that it would only be 7:00 in the morning when he phoned them—and 11:00 was a lot later than I was usually willing to stay up on a school night.

“Oh, I didn’t want to miss this,” I said casually (I hoped).

We were still shaking hands.

“Well, thanks.”


I was nervous, so of course I started rambling. “Hey, Patricia wants to do something with you guys sometime soon, so I guess we’d better hurry before the semester ends otherwise you’ll be gone, won’t you, and that sort of defeats the purpose. Maybe we’ll go bowling or something?”

“Um, okay.” I had trouble looking him in the eye (and not just because he was very tall); there was some expression there that unsettled me.

“Oh, and that dinner you have with all your friends, make sure that it doesn’t happen over ward choir. You shouldn’t miss ward choir.” Ward choir was my favorite time to see him.

“We’ll do our best.”

He was shaking my middle finger. That was awkward. I took away my hand.

“Thanks again.” I backed toward the door and flashed a farewell smile at Robert, who had watched this whole interchange with little reaction (I found out later that he likely had a crush on me, so I expect he was just hiding his distress). “See you Sunday – or before, if we end up doing something!”

“Bye!” they chorused.

I ran across the lawn to my apartment building, and didn’t sleep a wink that night.

 Oh 2008 me. There are some things I would change about your writing.

Anyway I didn't change any names so if you know these people don't tell them what I said. Like. They know. But we don't have to talk about it. It's well in the past. (And if you're reading, hi! Sorry we haven't talked in a while and there was no good way to ask you about this. surprise?)

A lot has changed in the past 10 years. My life is very little like what I thought it would be back then. And I think I'm glad about that; most of what I've done and what's happened have been blessings in my life, or learning experiences. I didn't know anything when I was 18 years old. I certainly didn't know that this handshake would still probably be the most exciting thing that ever happened to me ever (I mean, I still remember the date when it happened).

The right conclusion isn't coming to me. Do I want to expound more on the flush of first infatuation? (This was after high school AND after my first boyfriend so I don't know why this stuck me so much.) Do I want to say more about how life changes in ten years?

Or do I just wanna say good night?

Good night.

Edit: Good morning! Last night (which was honestly this morning #stoptheweek) I was in bed, falling asleep, and began reflecting on the day. With this and other experiences, I realized that the lesson I'm really taking from this story is that life goes on. When the handshake thing happened I honestly thought I might never get over it. But I did, about 5 years ago (yeah, do that math). I talked to someone yesterday that I honestly thought I'd never get over; but I have. I talked to/thought about some people that I still haven't gotten over and sometimes it feels like I never will -- but life goes on!

That's the conclusion I wanted to draw.

P.S.: the title of this post is the most amazing thing ever.

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