How it happened according to Viddy…

So, now you’ve all heard Stephanie’s side of the story, I’ll share a bit of mine.

Before I met Stephanie I had been dating casually having pursued several relationships that never really came together.  So, I’d been fairly complacent for a while focusing on work and taking care of myself.  Taking care of myself is code for trying to live more like an adult instead of a Video college student that eats the same thing two to three times a day.  So, in all, I was kind of just learning to take care of myself.

Then it occurred to me one day, as the year was starting to wrap up in early September it was time to get serious about dating and finding a wife. I’m not going to lie, I’ve tried before.  It’s not like I’ve been sitting on the sidelines the last 7  years since my mission.  By the way, saying that its been seven years since my mission makes me feel pretty old.  Stephanie reminding me that I’m getting nearer to 30 than 25, makes me feel older.  Then when you find out that she’s falls in age right between two of my sisters, well, I’m feeling it.

Anyway, I made the decision to start dating again and dating with purpose.  This time, however, I was going to make this serious.  Between being an active part of the sales process at work and a former volunteer missionary for my church, I appreciated the importance of going after a project with a goal.  Yes, I’m serious, I really was thinking this way.  I had it all planned out: a list of girls I was going to take out, a whiteboard that I’d track our progress on, and budget for how much I was going to spend on dates each month.  It was ready to go.

Just to preface, I had two dates a couple of weeks before and they weren’t pretty.  One canceled on me by email (which was fine because we had the potential to be related considering her last name was my great, great grandfather’s last name) and the other was not one of the best dates I ever had.  I’m sure it wasn’t that great for her either.  Anyway, so this time was going to be different.  This time, I was focused.  This time, I would see results.

So, I asked out a girl in the ward that I was friends with and scheduled a date for the Friday of the following week.  Later that weekend, I had a Dinner Group scheduled.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with these, they’re essentially an excuse to put males and females in the same room to converse and find mates.  It never works, ever…or maybe it does.  By the way, just for the record, my roommates at Jamestown in Provo can attest to this.  I once swore I’d never do dinner groups again, good thing that didn’t take.

My friend, Bekah, was supposed to go to the same dinner group, but I didn’t want to go.  She was encouraging me to go so I said I’d go.  Then she didn’t want to go, so I told her she had to go.  We were texting back and forth and talking at church as we debated about the value of going.  In the end we went.  When we got there, it was quickly apparent that I was the only guy in the room.  One of two things might have happened here.  Either someone in the ward, who arranges these things, thought my odds would be better if there were six women to one guy that then I couldn’t really screw things up.  Or, cosmically, that dinner group had one purpose and one purpose only.  For me to meet one of those girls in attendance.

We ate dinner and chatted.  In truth, only two pairs of people talked that night.  Bekah and myself.  Steph and Nicki.  We talked told stories and had a good time.  Chatted about how Stephanie had to eat gluten free.  I had a lot fun that night, more than I thought I would.  So in the spirit of my new project, I decided to ask out Stephanie.  She seemed cool, and I thought she was pretty cute.

So, that night, as all professional facebook stalkers do, I immediately looked for her on facebook when I got home.  I sent her a friend request, because I figured this was better than calling her up out of no where and acting like we were all chummy.  I waited. I waited some more.  She didn’t respond to my friend request until the next day.  I knew the instant she signed up, because I’m a blackberry addict and it tones uniquely when a facebook activity occurs.  Immediately, I fired off a message to her.  The problem was I really didn’t know what to say.  The obvious,” so I thought you were attractive and I ain’t too hard on the eyes, we should go out, ”  didn’t seem appropriate.  I asked her if her being gluten-free made her cooler than other people.  I’ll never forget her reply.  Seriously, literary genius.  She said, “Yep.”

With that, I felt I had license to call her and since I’d already expended all my smooth mojo on writing that facebook message I didn’t come off anybetter when I called her.  The phone rang and went to voicemail where I left a message, ” Heh, Stephanie, this is Viddy.  I’ve got a quick question for you, could you call me back?”  Clever.  So when she called ten minutes later, I was ready.  I ended up asking her where  were the good gluten free restaurants in the area.  She named a few and I picked one, asking her if she’d like to go there.  She said sure and laughed that classic short Stephanie laugh as if to say, “Yeah, uh, sure…”  We talked for about another 20 minutes which was pretty cool for being our first one on one conversation and I hung up.  I didn’t really think much about it again until the day of the date.

A couple of hours before work ended, I got an IM from my date for Friday canceling because of a scheduling conflict.  This was the third time that our date had to be canceled so I was a little irritated.  I remember thinking to myself then that the date better go well that night with Stephanie or I’d be ticked.

Fairly on time, I picked her up at her place and discovered that she lived with a friend I grew up with which was good news for me.  We were good friends and I hoped she’d built me up for Stephanie, which she did (Props, Ashley!).  And we went off to the restaurant.  We ordered there and began to chat.  Now, if this were a DVR experience, this is the spot where I’d pause the show to explain a little background or trivia.  So, my experience on dates has been for a lot, but not all, I find myself doing some measure of entertaining and not feeling like I totally could be myself.  I have been on dates with lots of wonderful girls, who are not bad dates by any means, but I just never fully felt at ease.  Un-pause.   Throughout the night Steph talked and made me laugh.  Told me all sorts of stories and listened to mine.  There was a lot of give and take and a lot of similar interests.  The night went by quickly and soon we realized the restaurant was closing around us.  I suggested we go to the car and continue chatting.  So we talked for another hour in the parking lot.  She eventually asked to be shown where some restaurants in the area might be, but needed to go to the bathroom first.  Ugh…well, the only bathrooms in the area where Gas Station Specials or my parents.

Neither of the two choices was altogether favorable, but I offered them up to her anyway.  I mentioned that going to my parents might be awkward, but at least it would be clean.  We went over there and as we walked in, in an effort to diffuse the awkwardness, I said something awkward like, “well, this will be a good trial run.  If we’re gonna get married, you’re gonna need to meet my parents.”  She laughed, not knowing that this is what we called in 9th grade lit, foreshadowing. Cue the music…Bom bom BOM!

She met my parents and seemed really relaxed which impressed me.  I took her home and did the standard post-hug date breakdown dance and left.  Sticking to my project approach I needed to come up with another activity for her and I to spend time together.  This activity needed to be more of a group setting so I organized a movie night at my place.  I was excited and wanted everything to go perfectly.  So much so, that I broke a long standing silent standoff with my roommate over who would buy a vacuum in order to make sure the place was clean.  That night, everything went well.  Stephanie and I sat next to each other the entire night and I believe at some point we held hands during the movie, but we sat fairly closely nonetheless.  We ended up talking and cuddling until about 4 AM.  We definitely had a vibe going.  I asked her out for the next week, but I was going to a trade show and leaving in the middle of the week.  So we had a second official date that following Monday.  Four days after our first date.  That night we carved pumpkins and listened to music.  We had fun and just enjoyed each other’s company.  Now, no shocker, I really wanted to kiss her and had yet to see the go ahead sign.  For those not familiar with the sign, it’s that look when your eyes lock with theirs and they shoot pink laser beams at you.  Kids, ask your parents they’ll explain it to you.

So, at one point, I asked that question that always has a way of progressing relationships…what are you thinking?  Now her answer was one of the things that made me fall for her fairly quickly.  She was direct and had convictions.  She told me that she knew I wanted to kiss her, but would not until I was committed.  I told her I was committed and kissed her shortly after that.

After that night, things have continued to go well.  We seriously shoved a whole lot of courting in a very small amount of time.  There was thing though that was very strongly on my mind, I did not want to lose this girl.  When she asked me to meet her parents we were dating, but not seriously committed to the point where marriage was a discussion topic.  Honestly, freaked out was a term that my inner consciousness might use to describe how I felt when she asked me.  The progression over the next several weeks regarding my thought process and feelings went like this:

  • Immediately: OK, but don’t leave me alone…ever.
  • A couple of weeks later: OK, but we’re not going to talk about anything serious until at least January
  • Some weeks later: OK, I’m not going to ask your Father until after we go out there.
  • Later, still: OK, but I’ll ask your Father while I’m out there, but I’m not proposing until later.
  • Later, later: OK, I’ll propose and ask your Father while I”m out there
  • Two weeks before going to CA: For crying out loud, can’t we go already so I can propose. PLEASE.  How much would a plane ticket right now cost?!  I want to marry this girl!

For some time I debated about where I would propose to her and it came down to two places: a lookout point above the Golden Gate or China Camp State Park on the San Pablo Bay that connects with SF Bay.  In the end I chose China Camp, because it had a special place in my heart from when I was a missionary there.  I used to drive through there at the end of a busy night and roll down the windows.  The place had a calming effect on my nerves and mood.  Many times I thought some day I would bring my future spouse here to see this place.

When we got there the weather was not pretty, rather, it was very overcast and lightly raining.  We drove through the park until I spotted a location that would suit my purposes.  The place, was a pointe that had a bunch of picnic tables at different points around the bluff.  You could walk down several tiers to a point where you could no longer see the road, but were about 25 feet from the bay below.  I got down on one knee despite the wet grass, figured it would buy me some points, and began tell her what came from the heart.  I’d chosen not to write anything down, because I wanted this to be the most sincerest of my feelings not something I had rehearsed or plagiarized.  Then I took her hand and began to write imaginary letters on her palm with my finger.  In church or other quieter settings, we’ll often write messages to each other on our palms in this way.  So, as I wrote out each letter of the question whose answer would change the both of our lives forever, I enjoyed the sound of the waves breaking against the bluff, the muffling of other noises by the cloud cover, and the absence of anyone but ourselves.  In that moment, it was just us sharing what to Steph and myself a perfect moment.  She said, “ABSOLUTELY!” and we immediately high fived followed by a very sensational fist bump…just kidding…we kissed like it was our job and we’re good at what we do for a living.  🙂

So Steph and I are engaged, and I’m way excited.  I loved meeting her family who welcomed me with very open, and warm arms.  I echo the words that one of her family members made to me the other day, it was as if I known them for much, much longer.  For my family, Stephanie fits right in and I’m ever so thankful for that.  The road ahead of us is wide open and awaiting the two of us to start down it.

Cheesy, yes, sappy, of course, who wrote this, I did.

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5 comments to How it happened according to Viddy…

  • Dr. Gyani  says:

    You’re a complete nerd- and I loved every sentence of it! BTW- can i have that white board so i can plot out my own dates now?

  • dani silva  says:

    I loved the story! You guys are so cute!!

  • Shannon  says:

    LOL- Dr. Gyani!!! I know you! Congrats, Dave!

  • Kasey  says:

    My favorite line has got to be:

    “She said, “ABSOLUTELY!” and we immediately high fived followed by a very sensational fist bump…just kidding…we kissed like it was our job and we’re good at what we do for a living. :)”

    Great story! Very excited for you two.

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