Sunday, November 18

Something in the Way

IN the beginning, we were childhood friends; then sweethearts who became lovers. We married in the church and began our life together as a couple. We even had children together.

Off stage, we were friends. In the groups-of-us-hanging-out-together kind of way. Never a dating relationship, rarely a moment alone in conversation, we two carroused as part of the gang of all of us. I am sure I flirted with him (who didn't I flirt with in those days?) and I am sure that filled him with amorous ideas and pushed our relationship in his mind toward something personal and permanent.

But I had no clue.

For me the first indication of his undying love for all things me was the Sunday afternoon he drove me home from church.

He told me "I just want to stop by my place really quick and tell my parents (who were in town visiting) that I will be back later"

"Sure, okay", I said.

When he pulled his truck into the parking lot of his apartment building he said, "why don't you come upstairs with me? You can meet my folks."

Again I replied with a "sure, okay."

I followed him up the stairs to his second story apartment, he unlocked the door and we entered. His parents were sitting in the living room and both rose to their feet when we walked in. He introduced me first to his father, who reached out his hand and shook mine saying "hello, nice to meet ya!". Then I turned as he introduced me to his Mom who approached me with a broad grin on her face (and possibly mist in her eyes). She reached her right hand out to take mine and then placed her left hand over the top and squeezed as she pulled me in closer.

"Oh, it's so wonderful to finally meet you. We've heard SO MUCH about you." She said.

Whaaa? I am sure I pulled some sort of this-is-an-awkward-moment-face as I pulled my fingers away from her loving grasp and muttered a 'nice to meet you too' kind of reply.

It was an utterly surreal moment for me. If they had HEARD SO MUCH about me, it could only have come from one source.

I felt my heart sink heavy to my belly. Oh, boy.

He and I left soon after that and immediately were back in his truck. As he put the key in the ignition he asked demurely "So, what do you think?"

I exploded. "What do I think? What do I think? That was a supremely awkward thing up there! I am so glad to finally meet you... we've heard so much about you... WHAT have you been telling your Mom about me?"

He was silent for a long time as he drove and then said. "Only how I feel."

Oh, no.

He pulled up in front of my shared college house and cut the engine. I looked at him with his large eyes and flushed cheeks and said, "I think we should talk."

There it was--all of it--being spilled out from his mouth to my ears as we sat on the front lawn. He had loved the name Jennifer all his life--had even named a houseplant Jennifer once, he loved me--he felt it from the moment we met, he knew beyond doubt that he would marry a Jennifer some day, he knew with certainty that I WAS THAT JENNIFER.

As I said before: Awkward.

And how does one turn down an earnest-epiphany-based-marriage-proposal? I am afraid without much grace. I stuttered. I muttered. I FREAKED OUT. And I said, NO.

I had of course, the fallback excuse that I had a boyfriend. It was the truth. The boy who held my heart was at that time 2600.81 miles away doing the very common thing in the culture I grew up in and working as a missionary in the Boston area. We had a deal that as I "waited" for his return, I could certainly "date" others. (Also a very common occurence in this situation) and I think my suitor was banking on me to exercise that option, date him, fall madly in love with him, and write that other boy a letter saying I was getting married. I didn't take that route, at least not for him.

Which, very possibly broke his heart.

We still spent time together post-proposal-disaster, but it was increasingly random and more and more strained. Ultimately, the conversations we had were focused on the work (performances) we did together and nothing more. He was stunning in his portrayal of the man-with-the-broken-heart-who-could-maintain-a-friendship-with-the-woman-who-had-shunned-him. I was simply good at ignoring the awkwardness. Eventually the two of us were married, just not to each other. In the the end, I didn't marry that boy I was waiting for, but someone else, and he did not marry a Jennifer.

Though it's possible they call their DOG Jenn.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thanks to Brillig and Kate for launching the soapy fun. Today's drama is hosted by Anonymous Soapiness. Pop over to read more stories of adventure, love, and tragic romance.


  1. Well, Jenn is a good name for a DOG!

    Funny tale, great SOS, now I want the scoop on the real dude you married!!

  2. BTW, congratulations are in order for you surviving over halfway thru the NaBlowPornoShow (or whatever). I know it has not been easy, especially with your schedule and your compulsive need to respond to your commenter's remarks. Plus work, kids, low-maintenance hubby, visitors, needy friends, etc. And I know not all of your blogs have necessarily made it to your high standards! But you hung in there nonetheless and I applaud your meeting your efforts to meet your commitment. (Does that mean that afterwards you will be "committed"?!) Hang in there darlin' cuz you're over halfway. Here's hoping you have lots of lovely things to blog about the rest of the month. And an early Happy Thanksgiving to you!!

  3. ooh last time I really thought you were talking about your husband.

    That was awkward indeed.

    but your last phrase cracks me up. Whaaa haa, if I ever meet a dog named Jenn, I'll throw a weird look at the owner :p

  4. GB-
    hahahaha! Nope, not my husband, not by a long, long shot.
    And do tell me if you ever meet a dog named Jenn!

    Thanks for the well wishes and a hearty haha on the Nablopornoshow. That was well worth a giggle AND a guffaw!

  5. smid-
    I know, I know... a little weird. I did make it clear this guy wasn't for me, didn't I?

  6. Hey, I have a dog named Jennifer! Oh... no... wait. She's not a dog, she's a sister. It's an easy thing to confuse, because when I think of her, a certain term to describe a female dog pops into my head...

    And this story? Hilarious in that excessively awkward way. Oh, the description of meeting the parents. HAHAHAHA. YIKES!!!!

  7. I can't wait to hear about the guy you actually married.

    And thank God you didn't marry the guy who named his plants.

  8. I echo SMID. TOO funny! And I'm glad he found love elsewhere. And I loved the last line!

  9. He named a plant Jennifer?!? Too funny!! Sounds like all the reason you'd ever need NOT to marry the guy.

    Now, about the guy you actually did marry?

  10. Ouch! That had to be soooooo awkward. Thinking you're fated to marry someone based on their name is pretty weird. For the dog's sake I hope it's not named Jenn.

  11. brilly girl-
    Hahahahahaha! I know exactly what you mean...

    jersey, anno, jen-
    Yup. A little weird that plant naming thing. The one I married does not do such a thing, I can assure you!
    I think you are onto something here though, I really should post about that HIM of mine and the drama behind our story!

    fc and tc-
    Uh-huh, completely awkward.

  12. Very, very funny. I felt awkward right along with you. Ack!

  13. Great story... I know people sing to their plants but naming them?? Funny....


  14. I could so see his wife naming the dog Jenn, just so she could keep talking about that bitch. Poor you.

  15. Jenn, this was fabulous! Oh, so funny.

    I mean, what girl doesn't long to hear her name is shared by a houseplant. Now that's romance!