{That one time} I couldn’t remember my husband’s name

first date

Three years ago today, my husband and I went on our first date. This is our story. This story is the second part in a series. You can find the first part here.

Every Tuesday at 11:00 am on the dot, Brigham Young University holds a devotional. Usually it’s a church leader or professor or some other person of interest asked to speak to the student body. Because of this, there are no classes ever scheduled for 11:00 am on Tuesdays and all offices, food establishments, and anything else of interest are closed during that hour to encourage students to attend. During the fall and winter semesters devotional is held in the Marriott Center, on the furthest end of campus away from any classroom buildings. So for most students who have classes ending at 10:50 or starting at noon, it’s not easy to get there. For this reason, I was sitting in the JSB (Joseph Smith Building) auditorium where the devotional is broadcast. Alena had a class in there at 10 so she could save us seats. It was at approximately 10:56 am on Tuesday, September 22, 2009 as I was sitting next to Alena, waiting for devotional to start, that my phone began to ring.

“Alena! Alena, it’s him!” I exclaimed in a not so hushed whisper.

“Who?” She asked, not bothering to look up from her New York Times sudoku puzzle.

“It’s that motorcycle boy! He’s calling me right now!”

That caught her attention, “Well, answer it.”

“I can’t, devotional is going to start any minute.”

By that time the opening hymn had begun and motorcycle boy’s call had been forwarded to voicemail. Unfortunately for me, since he assumed I had saved his number in my phone when we met, he didn’t start the message with his name. Just a ‘Hello’ and simple request to call him back.

Which I did.

Roughly 4 hours later.

After much stomach-knot tying and such.

The phone didn’t ring nearly long enough to calm my nerves.

“Hello?”

“Hey it’s Jocelyn,” I introduced myself like every normal person should, “I got your message.”

The conversation went on with some pleasantries in which we both talked about our wild weekends, where he took a spur of the moment trip to Vegas with a friend who would soon be deployed and I passed out in the parking lot of a dance club (another story for another time). The phone call ended with a picnic date planned for the following Thursday.

Thursday afternoon around 11:30 am.
I had just put the finishing touches on my perfect picnic date outfit when my phone rang.

“Hey, I’m right outside.”

Not only was I about to go on my first motorcycle ride, but I was about to go on a date with a guy who drives said motorcycle.I was psyched!

I opened the door of the dorm building and walked outside. It was a beautiful late summer, early fall day. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. My mind however, was not so calm. What if I don’t remember what he looks like? I only saw him for a few minutes. Right, motorcycle. Look for a guy with a motorcycle.Crap, what if he’s not as cute as I remember?? Oh well, I’ll still get a free meal and motorcycle ride out of it. And there he was. Standing next to a beautiful motorcycle. And surprisingly enough, I noticed him first. He really was as cute as I remembered. Maybe even cuter.

I smiled as I walked up to him. But the first words out of his mouth caught me off guard a little.

“Hey. Sorry if I wear my sunglasses a lot, I got in an accident as a kid and hurt my eye and sun really bothers it.” I instantly looked up at his eye. His pupil was dilated and kind of in an odd shape. That’s a weird thing to say. His eye kind of looks like one of those cat eye contacts. What if he’s totally faking and playing some kind of joke on me? That would be weird. No he wouldn’t do that it’s our first date. Stop it Jocelyn, say something. “Oh no big deal.” Why didn’t I ask about what happened to his eye? Now I’ve lost my chance. I can’t bring it up again, that would be awkward. Oh whatever, just forget it. We’re about to get to know each other a lot better, I thought as I climbed onto the back of his motorcycle, wrapped my arms around his waist, happily noting the lack of pudge, and held on as we headed to our date.

At the various stop signs and lights, he explained that he didn’t have time to make a picnic lunch so he figured we could just get sandwiches from Subway. Well that sounded familiar. We went to a different Subway from the one where we met and ordered our sandwiches. I was in line in front of him and ordered my classic turkey and cheese on wheat with mayo, mustard, and olives. As I neared the end of the line, and he was still advising the ‘sandwich artist’ on what to put on his sandwich, a thought entered my head. Should I pay for my sandwich? I mean I am in front of him maybe I should just pay for it. But what if he’s planning to pay for it, would he be offended if I tried. Thankfully when I walked over to get my Sprite out of the soda fridge he had paid for both sandwiches and drinks and put them safely in his backpack so we could head to some mysterious picnic spot.

We ended up at a beautiful little park with a gorgeous fountain. We sat down in the soft grass underneath a tree and he explained to me that this is actually private property for a mental hospital. But boy it sure was pretty.

We talked about our families and our experiences travelling abroad. I was pleased to find out that he not only traveled for his mission but he had been to Israel and Egypt while he was in high school. I followed his stories with mine about living in England and mentally checked off ‘likes to travel’ which was right below ‘has a motorcycle’ on my husband list. The picnic was going great. Until the unthinkable happened. A glob of mayo/mustard slid out of my sandwich and partly onto the grass and partly onto my pant leg. The first thing that popped into my mind was my mother’s voice, “If you don’t learn some better manners, boys will never want to take you out.” I tried to slyly cover the glob with the paper wrapping of my sandwich without him noticing and silently wished that it would magically disappear before I had to stand up and throw away said paper wrapping.

We started talking about how much we both love the fall weather and the changing leaves, and he told me about how beautiful the leaves are up Provo canyon and the great hiking trail up there.

“How would you like to go for a ride up there sometime?” He asked.

“That would be awesome!” I replied, thankful that he was already planning another date that included his motorcycle.

“How about now?”

“Oh well Ok! Sounds good to me.”

There was only one problem. I still didn’t know his name. We had to run back to his apartment so he could get a jacket because it would get cold the further up the canyon we got. I waited in the living room while he went back into his room. As I was looking around and noticed a season of Gilmore Girls sitting next to all the DVDs (which I later learned did not belong to him), there was a knock on the door. He rushed out, jacket in tow, and answered the door. A girl quickly let herself in.

“Is DJ here?” She asked.

“Uh no, he’s not,” was the reply.

“Do you know when he’ll be back?”

“Nope, and I’m actually on my way out so…”

The girl didn’t seem to get the hint but instead stood awkwardly in the living room staring at my date. I assume she was hoping that he would snap his fingers and make DJ appear. Or maybe she thought he was lying and wanted to go check the back bedrooms for herself.

Presumably to end the awkwardness, my date smiled and said, “This is Jocelyn.” Girl continued to silently and awkwardly stare. ” And I’m Chris, DJ’s roommate.” Girl mumbled something about trying to find DJ later and left. I on the other hand was doing the happy dance in my head. Chris! his name is CHRIS! Oh thank goodness!
Chris then took me back to my dorm where I got my own jacket and we headed up the canyon. The ride was beautiful. And I didn’t mind the company either. The windy road up the canyon led me to hold on a little tighter than I probably needed to. Then at the top we parked and headed up a trail to a waterfall. The hike probably took an hour or so, but I didn’t notice. We talked about everything under the sun. We shared stories of our brothers that…well took their ‘own paths’ in life. And he told me about his sister and the time she tried to make her own body form by wrapping herself in duct tape. He even mentioned how much he likes short girls (Score!). Periodically, Chris would jump up on a rock or branch and then with some sort of turn jump back off. “Are you impressed?”

“Oh yes of course,” I would reply with a giggle.

It’s amazing how comfortable we were with each other that very first day. I didn’t put on any kind of show, and he was hilarious and silly and cute. We just clicked right away.

On the way back we passed another guy on a motorcycle. Chris leaned back and asked, “Do you know  why my motorcycle is better than his?”

“Why?”

“Because I’ve got a cute girl on the back of mine.”

We got closer and closer to my dorm and Chris asked, “Are you hungry?”

“Yeah, I guess I am.”

“How does Chinese sound to you?”

“Fantastic.”

I was glad to find out that neither of us wanted this date to end.

After our meal at Panda Express, I opened my fortune cookie which said something to the effect of ‘You enjoy the thrill of a good adventure’.

“What is that supposed to mean?” I asked Chris.

“Well,” He said with a goofy grin, “It obviously means that you enjoy the thrill of dating a guy who drives a motorcycle.

“Yeah,” I laughed, “I suppose I do.”

Sadly our date ended after our second delicious meal because Chris had to go to his best friend’s bachelor party because he was getting married the next day. I gave him a hug and said goodnight and that was that. It was the first date I could think of that I hadn’t kissed the guy. One thing was for sure, it was the best date I had ever been on. And there was something about this guy. Something I couldn’t put my finger on.

I found a group of girls from my dorm afterwards and told them about how amazing my date was. “I bet you two will get married,” one of them said. (That’s BYU for you.) But little did she know, that’s exactly what we did.

I don’t believe in fate, and I’ve never believed in love at first sight. But love at first date, that’s a different story.