Mar 7, 2010

Wherein I compare my love life to a tasteless reality TV show...

OK... just don't read this. Seriously. It's completely silly.

I have been bed-bound lately. I have bound myself to my bed, because I get sciatic nerves when I sit, and muscle strain when I stand. So Lately it's been lying down a lot, in between tasks. I find that if I follow this regimen I end up being able to do more, actually, than if I'm being constantly active.

What do I do when I'm lying down? Well, read, of course. But sometimes I need to spend time lying down holding kids, and it's kind of hard to read while holding a squirmy, cuddly kid. SO I've been watching more online TV lately than I ever have at any time in my life. I've become a fan of Modern Family and (I am somewhat ashamed to confess) I caught the entire season of The Bachelor. It was my first time. Yes, I was a bachelor virgin. (Somehow that doesn't sound quite right.)

Well, anyway, of course there were all the "scandals" (that I suspect happen every single time, no matter what the guy kept saying about "biggest scandal in bachelor history" with that little trembling lip of his that made me pretty sure he was having a hard time hiding how much he enjoyed it.) There was the girl who got close to one of the producers, there was Ali (who by the way I was rooting for) who had this sobby teary thing because she had to go back to her job, complete with crushed dramatic parting between her and Jake who was at that point giving lots of kisses to four girls instead of 25 so of course he'd fallen in love with her.

(sorry. I use sarcasm as a defense mechanism... I'm still really, really embarrassed that I watched this show.) Anyway, after Ali left I decided of course I was rooting for Tenley, and not Vienna. I hated Vienna. I despised Vienna. She is such a player, Jake! (I shouted silently at the screen while rubbing my 5-year-old's back). She's in this for the competition! She's playing you!

And then when I went to get groceries one day I saw a few tabloid magazines with her picture on it and I was completely brought up short. I had a stunning realization:
I am Vienna.

Yes, yes. Explain. So, when Skywalker and I were dating, he had a few girls after him and a few girls he was interested in. He is, and always has been, a pretty good looking guy (well, I think so at least) but somehow, a few months after he and I met for the first time, he suddenly peaked. I don't know if you know what I'm talking about; when one guy in the ward suddenly is the one a few girls are after? Suddenly, he looks more attractive and is much more charming than anyone had noticed before? I believe it might be called blooming, or something... at least, I know I was a late bloomer. My husband was, too. He bloomed at about 30, in the BYU 7th ward.

The way he tells it, he had just suddenly decided. He hadn't really worked hard at dating before. He'd had a few serious girlfriends, but none of them worked out. His serious relationships were few and far between, with a lot of casual dates in between. For some reason, he just wasn't feeling it. He decided that this year, he had to make it work. Because he was only in the younger singles' ward for another year, he needed to get on it.

So he broke out his trusty palm-pilot (it didn't really quite fit in his palm... they were bigger back then) and made a list. He thought about the ward, and came up with four names. Yours truly happened to be one of them, though with an asterix next to it, which all of you who know me and know our story would understand.

Well, he pursued casual-verging-on-dating relationships with all four women. Quickly one of them was eliminated when she started seriously dating someone else. With three left, Skywalker was having to balance late-night deep discussions of profound topics in 3 different apartments, one of which happened to be up in American Fork. And this isn't even counting the handful of girls who were suddenly interested in him (peaking, remember?) that he... well, he wasn't really interested in, as more than friends. But being a friendly, mellow guy, he also wasn't the type to just come out and say that and so, yeah. He had a lot of stuff going on. Never 25, I don't think, like Jake started out with. But a fair number.

Skwalker and I had issues to address before he could really feel free about considering dating me. And I had issues before I could date him (namely, I had decided to not date until I was 35 and head psychiatrist at a hospital where I'd meet a nice older widower and we'd spend the sunset years of our life together. I kind of saw Loli and I as an episode of Gilmore Girls; we were the only family I needed. That was resolved with the help of a certain bishop who made me see reason whom I will always be grateful for). Skywalker's issue was of course... the kid. Why? How? And... are you OK now? Thanks to Josh, that issue was cleared up and I was a serious contender.

Number three fell out of the running when she accepted an internship in California. So that left me and Anne.

Anne (Names changed to protect the innocent), well, how to describe her. She is like a Disney princess. Beautiful, soft-spoken, mature, faultlessly kind, faultlessly pure. She didn't watch PG 13 movies. She had a master's degree in Social Work. She was a raw vegan and a natural health enthusiast, which matched well with Skywalker. Oh, but that's not all! She had beautiful willowy figure, a stunning smile, gorgeous Amy-Adams eyes, Long, curling hair and a famous mother (a rather well known LDS-singer and television performer) and millionare entrepreneur father. She had a gorgeous disneyish-singing voice, described by some as a mix between Belle and Ariel (she couldn't help it, with her mom being who she was) perfectly suited to soothing, spiritual musical numbers. She was a folk dancer like Skywalker, in fact that is how they met; folk dancing (one of the best experiences and happiest times of Skywalker's life). She spent most of her time caring for her aged grandfather, who loved her dearly, and, like, rescuing cats and feeding orphans and stuff. :) Don't mean to be flippant about it, but... well. Tenley. Anne was Tenley.

And I was Vienna. I was the weird girl that some people in the singles' ward felt uncomfortable around, and one or two expressed to the bishop their concern about... should I even be in the singles ward, if I had a kid? (The technical answer is no, I shouldn't have. How that came about is another long story...)

I know there were a few not-so-nice things said and assumed about me and my circumstance when I joined the singles' ward. I'd had my face in the newspaper too... a couple years before all this happened. Those who knew my story felt better about things, but I had long given up the compulsive need to let everyone in on the extremely personal things that had happened to create my circumstances... it just wasn't any of their business, and I couldn't help it if they judged me.

When I met Skywalker's family, his father warned him about dating me. They LOVED Anne; they met her when Skywalker brought her home for Christmas a couple years before (yes, years...this relationship had been in place for 8 years, she just hadn't been ready to date Skywalker yet, for some reason).

Anne fit in with Skywalker's family seamlessly. She was so much like one of Skywalker's sisters it was almost uncanny, because both of them were uniquely Disney-Princess, Mary Poppins, and Anne of Green Gables-like. I was a little bit more blunt, a little more sarcastic at times... I spoke my mind and disagreed aloud (though, of course, diplomatically. Or at least, I tried.)

I knew Skywalker was choosing between us, and I knew what the logical choice should have been. But my heart wanted to be the one, partly because I loved him already and partly because I believed, somehow, I'd be better for him. I got him to play and joke, and take himself less seriously. Anne, while a wonderful girl, was soooo much like him and his family she'd never really challenge him, and she had some things she hadn't quite resolved in her heart as well, I think. I sort of felt from what Skywalker had said of her and their long relationship that she was kind of settling; Skywalker was a tolerable choice because she felt comfortable around him and loved him and had a history with him, and she was two years older than he was (32 at the time) so her options were starting to thin. These are all my own assumptions, of course. And they're completely presumptuous and inappropriate to be talking about in this blog post. (Oh well, nobody's reading it anyway because I told y'all not to, to begin with.)

And my thought was, Nobody should settle for Skywalker. Nobody. Skywalker was not the kind to be settled for... he was too amazing for that.

And in the end, he decided that, while he loved Anne, there was something missing. And in his own words, his heart was telling him to choose me over all logical conclusions and advice from friends/family/opinions of ward members.

We got married, and things were wonderful and amazing for us, and a bit confusing for some of those who'd watched it happen. Those who knew us well enough were very happy for us, others were left a little bit floored. Her? Why would he choose the one with the kid?

For a while there were one or two girls from that singles' ward who I would run into for verging on a couple years afterward, who still would act odd around me. One of them was a temple volunteer; we were in there for a few different sessions and she couldn't quite look at me.

This got better after a while. And this particular girl did eventually talk to me like a normal person. I think she might have been one of the ones who liked him, and it took a while for the sting to wear off, I guess.

I make Skywalker happy. I know I do. And last night, we went to Anne's wedding and she looks really, really happy too. And I hope that sometime soon we can all get together and be like, friends-couples, because I really do admire and like this girl a whole lot, even though I'm glad Skywalker didn't choose her.

Anyway, Silly reality TV show but it somehow struck a chord for me. So... I am officially a part of Team Vienna, now. You know. When I admit to having watched it at all.

Wow. You made it all the way down here. Well, thanks for reading this ridiculous, pointless vent/piece of utter silliness. So... maybe you all should comment with your own dating stories... make me feel less awkward? yes, I think that would be a good idea. Are you a Vienna or a Tenley (or an Ally or a Gia, for that matter?) Nosurf out.


Amyjo said...

thanks for the giggles this morning. I could never think of you as Vienna( now, I know who that is by your description)(dont watch the Bachelor, but have plenty of other guilty pleasures)

I have noticed that Utahns are pretty judgemental. Glad Skywalker chose you, and not the Disney princess!

Putz said...

sarahra i just did a book review on my blag, the reliable wife which you and you alone should read, starts out very unromantic and then in the middle of the book this practical relaiable wife who has a very domestic existance start s to wnat more and all of a sudden this book erupts into a steamamy book, a sexually steaming book and they whose wants more gets more, and i don't think you can really blame it all on the woman, which in most cases it is the woman, right?????? but in this case i am not sure but the rest of tho book she isn't so much the relaible wife any more, but a very not predictable woman with NEEDS, oh well their is me with a book don't read it, see if i care

Margaret said...

You. Are. Awesome. heehee

And I'm glad he chose you, too, and it was a wonderful beautiful thing to watch. And having talked to Skywalker about it at the time, and to you about it at the time, I think it's an amazing story, and I was telling one of my friends about it just recently, just talking about how wonderful you both are and how cool it was to see you come together. I hold the both of you, and your relationship, as one of those tender true stories that give me hope for, and a concept of, true love.

And I agree--he's too awesome for anyone to have felt like they were "settling" for him.

And congrats to "Anne"--that's cool that she got married! :)

Margaret said...

And just for the record, didn't you guys first hold hands at a movie party at my house??


Skywalker said...

Seeing "Anne's" wedding announcement was a major high point, a "pump the air" moment for sure. Yours will be too, Margaret!

Thanks for lending an ear during my turbulent time of thought and decisions.

Reading this post (and listening to NSG read a draft) was enlightening. Soon after the ceremony, our marriage duties took over, kids and school wiped out our previous friends and connections, and time entered warp speed! Saturday night, time slowed down a little and I could look back and remember my bachelor days with fond nostalgia.

I learned a lot, about myself, about friendship, loyalty, sacrifice, hope, and fear. Thankfully, God was watching me carefully and guiding me consciously, and sub-consciously. I often see His hand in the little details that I never thought to ask for, but that He knew I'd appreciate. That's humbling.

Skywalker said...

Hold hands? Hardly. She practically threw herself at me! (at least, that's how I remember it—my pure animal magnetism)

NoSurfGirl said...

*ahem* yes we held hands. Perhaps "leaned" a bit (While You Were Sleeping). That is all. Animal magnetism notwithstanding... besides, I seem to remember someone putting someone's arm around someone FIRST...

you're likely right, Margaret, that without your saturday-night movie parties none of this would have taken off, so I'm quite thankful for you and your awesomeness and also the awesomeness of spider-man with upside-down kissing.

merrilykaroly said...

Loved reading this.

I never hated Vienna because she never really did anything bad. I think all those highly competitive ladies wanted to find a scapegoat they could all hate together so that they could pretend to be friends with each other. That's the way it works.

Again, I loved reading this-- your comparison was fun, and I enjoyed hearing a bit more of your story. Sadly, I don't know "Anne" or at least know who she is in your story, so that was a bummer. :)

And P.S. you always say how ashamed you are that you watch the Bachelor, but everybody else watches it too, you know. And we're all ashamed about it but watch it anyway. :)

Janell said...

I think you and Skywalker have a wonderful Happily Ever After.

The problem with student singles' wards is the rampant immaturity. Often as I looked at you all the way down in the right-hand-side of the performance/studio/gym/whatever that was our chapel I wondered how in the world to approach you. Years of progress in the maturity department tell me, "Well, duh. 'Hello,' is a good start." -_-;

Anonymous said...

nice post. thanks.

Putz said...

yep rampant immaturity, RAM PANT IM mautd idity

Anthony D said...

Interesting read! It's interesting to me to see a little of the story from your perspective!