This story begins one evening fourteen plus years ago while I was visiting my sister Sydnie at her home. I was a widower at the time, and, being a thoughtful sister, she was concerned that her brother was lonely, so she started a conversation encouraging me to sign up with an on-line dating site. I assured her that I was ok and didn’t want anything to do with it, but she persisted. After a few minutes, she excused herself, went into her office, hopped onto her computer, immediately began filling out an on-line dating site application in my name, took my credit card out of my wallet, and sent in the application.
Three days after Syd signed me up, I received a note from a most wonderful and beautiful woman (Anne Evans). I was excited that someone would actually contact me, so I answered her immediately.
It turned out that Anne liked my sense of humor (believe me, I have always been very grateful that it manifested in the description Syd insisted I submit to that dating site), but more importantly, she appreciated me responding so quickly. She later told me that most guys wouldn’t answer for several days and she was appreciative of my maturity for not playing that game. We spent a few minutes communicating with each other before I had to leave for a father and son bonding activity I had planned that afternoon (attending an afternoon football game at BYU).
At the time all this excitement was happening I was working for BYU and had an on-campus office. I had just started my PhD program at the University of Utah and by half-time the game was lopsided (in BYUs favor) so I left early and went to my office to study. For the rest of the afternoon Anne and I communicated back and forth while I studied and she did her Saturday chores.
We chatted all afternoon and around seven o’clock I asked if she would like to go to dinner, but I knew that I had a secret I needed to share before I could take her out. So, I added a P.S. to my message and told her that I had Tourette syndrome (TS) and I explained what it was. The last thing I wanted was for her to be surprised when she met me and saw all my tics (uncontrollable movements of my face, shoulder, leg, etc.). I knew that my TS might scare her away, but I was willing to take the chance.
Anne was great with the news and told me she knew about TS because she had a nephew who had it. She also explained that it wouldn’t bother her. I was elated that a woman would take a chance on getting to know me. I asked her to meet me at a Mexican restaurant that I liked, then I left my office and drove for an hour to meet this interesting woman.
She arrived before me and discovered that the restaurant was closed for its annual Labor Day vacation. She called me and explained the situation and then patiently waited until I pulled up in my red 1998 Ford Ranger pick-up truck. I made a quick decision to go across the street to a popular family buffet restaurant (probably not the best place to take a woman for a first date). She politely suppressed her urge to laugh and joined me at our new location.
We went through the buffet, loaded up with what we wanted, and walked back to our booth where we sat down to a good meal (at least I thought it was good), ate and talked and talked and talked. We were enjoying our time together, getting acquainted with each other. The time passed quickly and suddenly we realized that we were the only customers left and the workers were politely encouraging us to go, which we did.
The next day I received a very nice note from Anne thanking me for the enjoyable time she had the night before.
It wasn’t until we were engaged that Anne told me her real thoughts about going to that restaurant, and today we still laugh and love telling this story. However, she wasn’t the only one hiding something from the other person because I had secret agenda that I hadn’t shared.
I had recently charged my tuition on my credit card, along with $2,500 dollars for building supplies, and my son Peter’s tuition. I didn't know if my credit card was maxed out, and I didn't want to be embarrassed by having it rejected on my first date with this beautiful woman. I knew that the two restaurants I selected would take checks and I would avoid any potential credit card denial embarrassment.
Later when Anne learned my thought process for going to that restaurant she was impressed by my wisdom.
There are two morals to this story: first, Anne suppressed her judgement on a decision that was the right one for me to make (even though she had to control the urge to laugh); second, we were able to move past this awkwardness and have a very enjoyable evening that led to other enjoyable evenings and eventually marriage.
I love Anne for the type of woman she is and the sacrifices she makes and tenderness she has for me. This kind of love can only be taught to our children through example. Showing our children how much we love our spouse by how we treat them is perhaps the most important gift we can give them.
Happy Valentine's Anne!
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