Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Love

(Okay this post is long. And it could definitely fall into the category of Cheesy McCheeserson, but after a bit of probing I consented to post "The Greatest Love Story Ever" by BrightBoy and Ardently. Problem is, Now everyone's alias is going to be revealed. Hopefully the stalkers miss this post.)
It sounded fun. I hadn’t seen Kylie or Sarah since London, and any excuse to reminisce—to relive the rejuvenating and clarifying affects in being in that foggy city—was welcome. Sarah called me up a few days before; apparently Kylie delegated finding models for her photo shoot to her and I was at the top of her list. Not for looks, but because we missed London, and the only connection to it we could find was each other—the best souvenirs we brought home from that Spring.

As I was walking out the door to meet them my Mom caught sight of my toenails and was appalled. I looked down and realized that I had forgotten to fix what my cousin Sadie had so excitedly done to me. Half of my toes were painted a messy pink and the other half a mottled purple. My mom was right. They looked terrible. I rushed upstairs to find a different pair of shoes and grabbed my white ones from H&M. I left the house at 4:45. That’s when I was supposed to be there. I really hate being late. I think it’s genetic.

I showed up at 887 Chandell, Kylie’s apartment, and the front door was open. I heard her voice coming from inside and I ran up the stairs and threw my arms around her. It had been far too long. There were three boys there. Kylie only knew one of them well, but she made fast friends and introduced them to me in order: Michael, Chris, and Jeremiah. I politely said, “Good to meet you,” and took a seat on the couch. I quickly ignored the others in the room and soon started up that quick girlish chatter that friends so easily fall into. When Sarah got there the conversation opened up again, Michael took the seat on the far end of the couch I was sitting on and we exchanged a few words like “where are you from” and “do you know so and so.” You know, small talk.

Soon Kylie got her camera, passed out the sodas and grabbed the popsicles. We all walked out onto the steps to her building and started acting like cool kids in magazines with paper white smiles and summer tans. We sat hip-to-hip sipping sodas and pretended like we were friends. Was his name Jared? Or Jeremiah? And where did Michael go to school again? The shoot only lasted a few minutes and was interspersed with conversations that I was completely uninterested in having.


It was only a short month earlier that I had gotten over getting dumped bad leftovers and left wondering what I was going to do with myself. I knew even back in February when I was enduring the whole ordeal that it was one of the most unfruitful and ill-matched relationships I could have wound up in, yet there I was, months later and across the Atlantic still mourning the loss of companionship. I don’t think I missed him I just missed that there was one. Finally, by July I found myself feeling free, Feeling me. Finally. I wasn’t interested in introducing any variables. Sure the boys at Kylie’s were cute, but I was not about to put myself back on the table, only to get tossed a month later. I was closed, protected, but trying to hide it. Apparently I failed.

* * *

Let’s back it up a bit.

The night of July 18th was a bust. Or at least that is what my friends were trying to convince me. I, on the other hand, could not be dissuaded from fact that I had met some cute and easy-going girl named Kylie Nixon at some random party. So, I diligently denied that our night was ho-hum. After all, this was supposed to be the summer of endless fun: the time of my life. Over a month earlier I had ended my spring relationship and I felt that my social life was surely on the upswing. I was, and remain, an incurable optimist.

Less than a week later, I got a call from Chris, who had just gotten back from a semester away in Hawaii. He said that he had had been talking to a family friend, Kylie Nixon, about helping her out with a photo shoot that she had to do for a summer internship. He said that she had remembered me from the bizarre Fiesta party. He wanted me to come with him and Jeremiah to be in Kylie’s photo shoot.

It was great news.

It seemed like the perfect summer activity: pictures, popsicles, and vanity. How self-gratifying to think that my mug could be showing up on a future issue of Square Magazine!

So, the evening came and I headed over to Kylie’s, who lived practically next door, at 4:45. (That was when Sarah, Kylie’s friend, had told me to be there.) I walked in and no one was there. It was just me with Kylie whom I hardly knew. My optimism about the outing was not dampened, however. Luckily, Chris and others showed up soon. Along with Sarah Orme was another blonde girl who was introduced to me as Paige.

As cheesy and cliché as it sounds, I was sure that I had seen her around before. Perhaps she just had that typical Timpview look—hot. (It’s is really uncanny how many great looking girls come out of Provo’s East Egg).


* * *

They were going to Park City to go swimming at Chris’ condo. Stretching a bathing suit over my pale, chubby London body and traipsing around in front of strangers was one of the last things I wanted to do right then. Sarah raised an eyebrow and asked what better things I had to do that night. My measly attempt at creating something was “finishing up the wedding shower invitations I’m making for Katie’s wedding…” That was shot down almost before I finished saying it, and the next thing I knew I was speeding home in my blue 1990 Honda Accord to shove some food down my throat, shave my legs and grab a suit. I guess I gave bad directions because they completely missed my house and I was on the phone standing on the curb when the suburban captained by Chris rolled to a stop at my toes.

The only seat left in the car was in the very back on the passenger side. Kylie sat in the middle seat that split Michael and I and after settling myself in, I remained pretty quiet on

the way to our first stop off at the Dairy Keen in Heber. I remember getting jealous of Kylie and Kellee showing off what little Spanish they knew to Michael who was praising their skills at every rolled R and double L sound. I kept attempting to start conversations with Sarah that bridged the seats, but they quickly fizzled when her neck was strained or I couldn’t hear above the foreign language club to my left. It’s just easier to talk to the person sitting next to you.

Soon the Spanish died down and Kylie and Michael started chatting it up about his mission and topics like music and politics. Feeling my social feet find their footing in topics I felt well versed in, I jumped on board the conversation train and put aside my seeming necessity to play defense. Next thing I knew we pulled up at the Dairy Keen and we all piled out. I had already eaten, so I picked at Sarah’s fries and mostly just listened until they all finished up and we piled back in the car.

The rest of the car ride up was easy, laid back, fun. We texted Cha-Cha our names, asking who we were and all of us got answers like “Paige Crosland is Facebook friends with Rob Dahl, Charisse Williams and Russell Gardner.” Nothing too exciting. But I learned that night that Michael’s middle name is Neal. And he uses it in his Facebook Profile.

* * *

Over the course of seven hours I realized that this Paige was no mere typical Timpview girl. However, the impression that she was just “ too cool for school” left at a gradual thaw. This was because during the first couple of hours, she was less-than-conversational and mostly reserved. Unfortunately, when a pretty girl acts reserved, guys nearly always take it as being stuck up. Anyway, the first time that I thought that this Paige girl was more than just “too cool for school” was at the Dairy Keen in Heber.

When we got there each of us ordered our food on our own. As I was in the line to order, I couldn't help but notice that there was a puberty and pimple ridden teenage boy at the cash register. He seemed very nervous. It was probably his first day. As my turn to order arrived, the young man looked past me to an old man, and then, turning his head to the ground he said, “Hi Grandpa.” I had to bit my lip to stop from laughing.

Still with a smile, I headed back with my food to the table that had been saved by the others 9photo shoot models. I sat down and begin to relay my funny story to Lindsey and others sitting close. Everyone laughed. But the loudest laugh was from Paige who was sitting clear down on the other end of the table. When I heard her laugh and saw her great smile, I thought, “Is she quietly watching me?”

We continued up to Park City. We in the back row talked about music. Kylie and I tried to hint to Paige that she was un-American for not liking at least a little country. Paige and I then exchanged a few “Have-you-heard-of…?”s and swapped stories about being judged for liking a band called the New Pornographers.

* * *

When we got up to Deer Valley we took a look at the pool from Chris’ condo on the third floor and decided to take a walk down the hills to the summer ski slopes. We sat there swinging on the lift and relishing in the mountain air. I wanted to take pictures, to remember the freshness that came from forgetting myself and letting go. My camera was in my bag back in the room, so Jeremiah offered to go with me and together we trekked up the hill (it was on this short jaunt that I realized Jeremiah was actually Beau Jewkes who had been a household name my freshman year among the Good Women of 2111. It was insane).

When we got back, the group had left the lifts and we found them on the roof of the lodge, sitting, laughing. It was refreshing to be up there with people who just seemed so good. The night was perfect. It was at that certain temperature when you can’t tell where your arm ends and the air begins unless there’s a breeze. It felt fluid. We sat together and somehow I again ended up next to Michael. We laughed about how we wore shirts nearly the same color, and posed for more pictures with Kylie behind the camera. I remember thinking he was personable, and impossibly polite. But I quickly reminded myself that I was not interested. At all. Not. Interested.


After we clamored off the roof and went up to the room to change, we hopped in the pool and I quickly joined the boys for a rousing game of Speed. I got worked. Royally. Both games. There may have been playful banter, but it wasn’t until we were inside wrapped in colorful terry cloth towels that I felt like I was in with the crowd. Bmnbnbnvmbnv bonded over Raffi. Ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring, ring! Banana phone! Michael and I laughed about growing up to these ridiculous songs, and were amazed at how many we remembered.

* * *

The night was great. We hopped on a stationary Deer Valley chair lift and talked. Then, we climbed on top of the ski lodge and talked. After, we dipped into hot tub and talked. There we were, the seven of us, enjoying the summer. We talked about Facebook foibles, how Lindsey and I see each other on campus more often than we see our professors, how Kylie wanted everyone to visit Ogden canyon and ski Snow Basin, and how all of the girls loved London. We all talked, we all flirted, and we all had a great time.

Despite the friendly and non-romantic atmosphere, I thought Paige was a doll.

From the time we got out of the pool, Paige and I talked more. I scored some serious points when I mentioned Pizzaria 712 and Raffi. When we piled back into the car to head home, I hoped Paige and I would sit close so we could talk on the way home. We did.

Our conversation settled on our experiences abroad. Her expressions about her formative time with a German family in Meißen and with Nigerians in England resonated with me. I could tell that Paige, as my Grandpa would say, “has something under the hood.”

* * *

I got back thinking very highly of Michael. Conversation was easy, he was smart, and attractive. I remember thinking he would be a perfect match for my best friend Melissa because as I had to so often remind myself, I was not interested. I texted her when I got home, “I think I found your soul mate,” and told my sister that I have a future-date candidate for her. I thought he was great, but I still felt too much angst about even thinking about the slightest chance of getting in a relationship.

A few days later Melissa and I were riding our bikes down University Avenue to get some frozen yogurt. The perfect summer snack. On our way I was telling her about Michael, I had only stalked his Facebook a handful of times since we first met, so I was relaying all the reasons why he was her soul mate. Ironically, right then I saw him riding his bike toward us. I was so surprised I practically yelled, “Hey! How’s it going?” we both skid to a stop and exchanged a few words before he got my number (and I fully planned on giving his to Melissa).

The next day he called me up for dinner. Two days after that I had a bonfire and was sure to text him a casual invite. Numerous texts passed. We went on a bike date, a marathon scavenger hunt date, a movie outing at Rock Canyon Park, and then several Monday night runs. School started and I tried not to stalk him in the library. And the rest, as they say, is history.

* * *

I didn’t get her number that night. I thought it would be a little too over anxious. However, I did think about her a lot. I decided that the first overture had to be subtle: I planed it all out. Over Facebook, I would be to ask her the name of some of the bands that she told me about on the way to Park City.

It worked. When she wrote me back with the names of the bands, I quickly checked them out so that I could get back to her. I immediately recognized that this girl has good taste and was definitely my style.

One day, I went over to Rob’s apartment. I didn’t have a set car during the summer, so I was left with one choice—ride my bike. I am so glad I did. As I approached University Parkway, I saw a familiar face. It was Paige. She looked surprised to see me too. We talked about how we loved bike riding in the summer and joked about my blue and pink, 1991 Rock Hopper. I heard her great laugh again. As I was about to leave, she said, “So, we should all get together sometime.”

I was ecstatic. Really. No understatement. I told Rob that I didn’t care what we did that night. I already had my success.

I’m as excited today as I was then.

3 comments:

Leslie said...

I'm so glad you wrote this and shared - I loved it! Is Melissa bitter about you stealing her soulmate?

kylie said...

I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS. There were numerous times while reading this in which i laughed out loud.

This is all just... perfect. Love you two.

Hosander said...

This was great - and I don't think you compromised too many aliases

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