I've been thinking about the Double B a lot. Funny how that happens.
Let us be clear, the part of me that has a crush on him thinks of him often. The part of me that likes him as a human being and a friend thinks of him often. The part of me that is raising children with him (who miss him so much) thinks of him often. The part of me that has entwined between our two souls, sort of like how I like to entwine our limbs together at night when I'm cold and ready to go to sleep, thinks of him almost all the time, now that our marriage has stretched across the western part of these United States.
I do miss him, but it's okay, because I know I'll be with him again soon. If anything, it makes it very clear that if I have to move to that gigantic Midwestern city to get to him, I will happily, most happily go. It sort of just makes me wistful. I've thought a lot, more then usual, about the events that brought us together. About the ways he makes me better -- better as a person, and better emotionally, logically, spiritually. He's kind of my steaming cup of Theraflu when I feel yucky. So comforting and sort of tangy and warms you from the inside out (I can't tell you how much the Double B would enjoy being compared to Theraflu).
In honor of my sentimentality, I will tell you our story the way I tell it when I have to speak at church functions or anywhere I am introducing our family to the masses:
The Double B and I are the classic case of how opposites attract. We have almost nothing in common as far as our interests go, but for whatever reason, we find each other charming and wonderful and it is easy to make it work. I have learned the rules of basketball, and I am now an even bigger fan of the Utah Jazz then he is. He has learned to enjoy live theater -- some plays more then others. I have never asked him to attend 'South Pacific' with me, though, because I know how he feels about it and I'm nice that way.
We first met when I was in the ninth grade and he was a senior in high school. He became friends with my big brother Matt and started coming around the house every now and then. He was so very cute and had a very deep voice (all females react to this voice. We can't help it.) and was very shy and SO nice and so GOOD. A fatal combination for Marie at any age. However; my awkward phase lasted roughly 11 years, and being 14 and 15 and right in the middle of it, I honestly never wasted my time having a crush on the Double B. I just enjoyed his company, and every now and then he'd surprise me with a funny story and I would laugh and laugh and laugh, way past when it was appropriate to still be laughing. It just surprised me that someone so shy and quiet said such hilarious things (like the Bennis Rodman story). One night Matt and the Double B took 16 year old Marie with them to see Star Wars Episode I in the theaters (what an awesome big brother and big brother friend, right?). The Double B remembers that I would laugh at all the wrong places. Like, everyone else would chuckle, and I would guffaw. He thought that was kind of endearing, and I will say that is good, because I still do that: if something is funny, I laugh. Can't help it. Anyhow, on the way home I was leaning over the front seat in Matt's blue Nova, excitedly breaking down the movie awesome point by awesome point. As we were driving up the Double B's street, I glanced over at him and the thought came so clearly into my head "I wonder what it would be like to marry ___." The thought surprised me, and I instantly was like "Well, that will never happen," and didn't spend another second dwelling on it.
Sometimes I tell the Double B that I wish I could teleport back and tell 16-year-old Marie that I WAS going to marry him. That would have been awesome information to have!!! It would have thrilled me to the depths of my being and would have saved me a whole lot of boy angst, let me tell you. The Double B always tells me that is not how it's supposed to be. Because he is the Double B, and he is like that. But still.
Fast forward a few years: the Double B grows up and goes on his two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I grow up and begin attending college at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. The Double B comes home and by a twist of fate, my own father and big brother Matt go to the airport and welcome him home (my Dad obviously not knowing he had just welcomed his future son-in-law home from his mission). That day I happened to be home from college between semesters. I was so happy to only have to read if it was something of my choice and so happy to sit and lounge in my pj's on my parents couch. So I was sitting there reclined and comfy, reading a good book, greasy haired and wearing the pj pants with a hole in the bum. The doorbell rang, and being very gracious and probably the only one available, I got up and answered it. And there... there... was the Double B. But GLORIOUS. This is where we insert 'Hark, the Herald Angels Sing!' Because he was pretty much the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. He'd grown up. And was pretty much glowing so brightly with all that delightful goodness that I was almost blinded. Literally. My mouth fell open (I'm not joking about that) and I could not find the ability to speak for an uncomfortable length of time. He was also uncomfortable. When I could form the words I welcomed him in, my family came running because they have always adored him (what's not to adore?), and I walked into the other room and literally collapsed on the floor, female totally overcome by male.
Disclaimer: the Double B finds it incredibly embarrassing when I tell this story. But I don't even embellish it, this is just the way it happened. What he doesn't know won't hurt him, so we'll just pretend we never told it.
Two months later I got a phone call from the Double B while studying on the third floor of Deseret Towers. He was calling to nervously ask me to attend the Utah Shakespeare Festival with him. Shakespeare, the great love of my young life? Well played, Double B. Well played. I acted cool and accepted, but after we hung up, I was so excited I ran out of the room and around the third floor of D.T. seven times. Why seven? Because that just seemed appropriate.
After that momentous night in Cedar City we began dating, and through much wailing and gnashing of teeth, he slowly convinced me to give up my dream of Broadway for a much better dream, and we grew completely, irreversibly in love with each other.
And I love him so much more today. Which just makes those ties that bind us from Utah to Missouri even stronger.
My Grandma, who was (and is, even in heaven) one of my very best friends in the whole world, would often tell me about her love story. She said that for her, it was love at first sight. And for the first time ever, while typing this story, I realize that I had my own love at first sight. I just didn't know it. But seeing him in the doorway that August afternoon can only be compared to being smacked upside the head with a wooden beam. Even though I didn't know it yet and wouldn't for quite some time, from that moment onward I was his and only his. So, Grandma? I get it. Since I was a girl I have adored your and Grandpa K.J.'s story, but for the first time I realized: I know exactly how you felt.
And now I think I'll go cry on my huge pillow.
But because I'm glad.