Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mountain Top Experiences #3: Nancy Part 1

NOTE: Yes, I understand it is ridiculous to have a multi-part series within a multi-part series, but she's my wife for crying out loud. Besides, none of you want to read a 15,000 word single blog entry.

My wife Nancy is a fatally flawed woman. Yes, she is beautiful, intelligent, funny, a woman of God, a good cook, blah, blah, blah… But she has one flaw that I simply can’t look past and makes me lose all respect for her: she has terrible, truly abysmal, taste in men. Don’t get me wrong- I’m glad that she was willing to marry me, but that choice certainly brings her judgment and decision making ability into question. It keeps me up at night to think that Sophie is going to be learning this from her…

Despite the above, Nancy is actually quite lovely. We went out on our first date in April of 1993. For those of you doing the math, yes that puts her at 14 (going on 15) and me at 15. I turned 16 a few weeks later. For my birthday she got me a book which she inscribed, as is her habit. Displaying her characteristic lack of taste and uncharacteristic forwardness, she wrote “Sweet 16 and never been kissed…by me. Yet.” I suppose this was her way of telling me that I’m a big chicken and should make a move already (which she was, of course, absolutely right about. As I told you, she has BAD taste in men).

As far as high school relationships go, we had a good one. Probably too good. After her parents saw that I wasn’t going away (much to their chagrin, I’m sure), they instituted a rule that we could only have 2 dates per week: one on the weekend and one during the week. Thinking that we were super-smart, we immediately came up with a plan to work around this. Let’s break down the week as we saw it: On Friday night, we probably had a football game that we had to attend as part of the band. That was a school function, so didn’t count. Saturday night we could use our weekend date. Sunday we would go to church in the morning and church in the evening. Evening church was either followed by a youth group function or we would go back to her parents’ house and read the Bible together- for like 10 minutes. After that, we would play Euchre with her parents and eat Jack’s pizza (which we still do every Sunday night to this day). Since Nancy was introducing me to reading the Bible (we did read the whole thing in a year), it didn’t count as a “date.” Monday we usually took off. Tuesday we would use as our weekday date night. Wednesday had youth group and we would typically do something after that. We probably took Thursday off. So, 5 out of 7 days instead of 2 out of 7 (we totally thought we outsmarted them).

In the end, her parents were likely right that too much exposure to one another was not beneficial. After 19 months of dating (practically a lifetime commitment in high school), we mutually decided that it was time to break up. We both wanted to spend more time with our friends and enjoy being stupid kids for a while. I know what you’re thinking- a “mutual decision” is simply a euphemism for “Nancy dumped me.” Although Nancy did dump me, many times (I would say she became very good at it, except that she never quite got rid of me), she did not dump me THAT time.

I went off (down the street) to college at Bethel and had several half-girlfriends, all of whom fully dumped me. By Christmas of my Sophomore year, fresh off another dumping, I was pretty down and ready to take a break trying to find a girl. I was at Church the Sunday before Christmas and noticed the backside of a very cute young lady wearing a short, dark grey wool skirt and a light-grey cashmere sweater. She had short blondish hair and appeared to be a visitor who could use a proper introduction to our church. The good Christian that I am, I figured that when it was time to “greet those around you,” I would do the right thing and greet this young lady on behalf of the church. When the appropriate time came, the young lady turned around and confused me to no end by being Nancy. My confusion turned into captivation. I can only assume that Pastor Bob spoke that Sunday morning, but as far as I know it was a head of golden hair floating above a grey sweater. In a twist of my original intent, I used her as a tour guide after the service. I followed her to get her coat. I followed her to get my coat. I followed her anywhere I could. Eventually I suggested that we should get together some evening over break just to catch up. Having still not learned her lesson, she said yes.

I will always remember that Christmas season as one of my most innocent and romantic periods. We hung out all break with no intentions of anything other than friendship. It was a surprise to both of us when we found ourselves hugging goodnight in the light of the Christmas tree and sharing a kiss. In a series dedicated to mountaintop experiences, I must confess that moment as the most sublimely perfect, just right moment of my life.

1 comment:

danp said...

I can hear the drum roll setting up part 4!I can't wait!