(The next installment for SOS hosted by 2 hearts at My life in type. Theme "Long Distance Relationships." Beginning of the story here, and you can follow the links at the end of each post. Remember these posts are written as my own journal, but I'm still linking them up at Soap Opera Sunday. Whatever.)
Let's start this session with some pictures. This is sort of how I thought of Greg at first. Very Polish (skinny, tucked in shirt, Polish shirt and flag). He's the one on the left. On the right is Dewayne, one of the RMs who served in Poland. Funny guy. This is how he dressed to go to school. Just kidding. I think he was in a dance group or something.
Me sticking my head out of the kitchen window of our basement apartment. In the background you can see Greg's apartment]
Summertime roommate Sarah (long before she was Sarah of Hope is Power), me and Andrea (when she was just "Me" and there was no "3" in Me + 3) standing in our kitchen. Behind us on the left you see the door that leads to the stairs going outside. Behind us on the right you see the door to the bathroom. Right off of the kitchen. Disgusting. That apartment was a hole.
Now I've mentioned that Greg and I dated on and off. This morning I asked him if he'd write a post from his perspective (per Erin's suggestion). I knew he wouldn't be that excited about it, so I just asked him for his side of the story.
L: So why did we keep dating off and on?
G: Well, I always knew. [Here he gave an analogy that I won't share but basically saying that even though "he knew" he still felt like he couldn't be sure until he'd dated everyone else in the world] "I thought, it's so fun being with Lisa, but is it Lisa? Maybe this is just what it's like when you're dating a girl."
L: Oh, and I mentioned in my last post about how you were always visiting all the girls in the ward. Making the rounds to all their apartments. Just so you know.
G: What? I did not! I sometimes visited girl's apartments but not that much.
L: Of course you did. You liked so many girls and you would visit them all the time!
G: WHAT!?! I didn't like any girls in our ward. I went on a few dates with girls from work (MTC) but that's all.
L: No you were sorta after a bunch of girls in the ward. Remember S-----?
G: Oh yeah, but I wasn't interested in her for long.
L: And how about D----? You were really hung up on her.
G: Oh yeah.
L: And A-----? And remember J-----?
G: Okay, okay. You've made your point.
So no, I didn't misrepresent the case. He liked a lot of girls. Whenever we ended a dating term it was because one of us realized that HE was getting restless.
Once when we weren't dating, Greg and one of his roommates were taking dates snowshoeing. Brad was taking Andrea, and Greg was going with a girl from upstairs. The morning of, Greg called me to say that his date had some emergency come up and he wondered if I would go with him. I was so excited (but not too excited, as I was kind of the only person who he could count on going with him last minute, but snowshoeing? awesome!!...) Here we are:
That was a fun "date".
Just before Christmas Greg was making his travel plans. He always spent his Christmases with his "adoptive" American family, the Hughes, the family of one of his former mission companions, Vaughn. Vaughn's younger brother, Jason, was Greg's good friend and roommate. They always spent Christmas in Oregon and then headed down to San Fransisco to visit his Grandmother. For some reason we decided that from there, Jason and Greg should fly down to Burbank and visit me for a few days. They did and we had a great time, except for the fact that Greg and I acted like we were dating even though technically we weren't. Jason was a great sport and we did Hollywood, Disneyland, and a Singles New Years dance. During that Christmas in Oregon, Jason gave Greg some very good advice that got him thinking. Thinking, but not acting, really. (I think he gave him the idea that someone (specific) might steal me from him if he didn't make a permanent-type move. Of course I didn't know about this until after we were married)
I mentioned that I didn't really go on many actual dates. Everyone knew Greg and that he liked me and wouldn't ask me out because it was taboo. So Greg would see other girls 'til his heart was content (not really, he was never content until he realized what his problem was, which is at the end of the story) but I couldn't date anyone else.
I had a few guys tell me that they wanted to ask me out but they didn't want Greg to come after them. I was sort of flattered but mostly annoyed that I was missing opportunities. Once when I was going to a Christmas Around the World (or whatever that annual thing is at BYU where they have people performing from all different cultures) with my good friend Lance, he asked as we were pulling out of the driveway, "Are you sure I'm not making anyone too jealous, here?" Ugh!
Another time (when we weren't dating) when I was on my way to Greg's house I met one of his roommates in between our houses. I told him I was going to see Greg. He said he was on his way over to see Lisa because he had something to ask her. I told him I wasn't sure if she was at home, but he could go and check (this guy was really hilarious and didn't really hide the fact that he liked me). He looked a little flustered and then kept going on to my apartment. I felt a little weird, but since he kept going, I kept going, assuming I'd talk to him later. He came back to his apartment a little while later and I asked him what it was he needed. He said, "Oh, never mind." I found out later that he'd asked my roommate out on a very cool date.
It was more of the same all winter and spring. At the end of the school year (BYU and Head Start both) I started thinking that I really just needed to go somewhere where I would be able to date other people. Sticking around here wasn't working and it was keeping me hung up on Greg. Around this time Andrea stopped listening to me whine on and on about Greg. Of course I felt bad about having dumped everything on her (too bad people didn't have blogs back then, because I would TOTALLY have done what Cordy is doing. And the story would have been very similar, too, except the posts would have been 10 times as long) and I could feel that this was really going to help me get through this. (I know we never actually talked about this Andrea, but I do thank you for that).
Once, around this time, Greg and I went for a drive "to get lost" in the hills of Provo. We did this all the time and, on occasions when we actually found our way to the top, we would park and look over the city and chat. This time while we were talking about us I just told him flat out that there was no reason for us to give it another try anymore. I told him that there was no future for us. None. He disagreed and was upset that I was giving up on us and tried to convince me etc.
Heaven smiled on me (it often does, you see, because it's very nice like that). My sister (Su, married) who was soon to be moving away from Provo to Maryland told me of a nannying position available 45 minutes from where they would be living. I thought, NO WAY. Nannying? my thing. Waaaaaaay across the country from Greg? just what I needed. With family living nearby? I'll take it!!! This was seriously an answer to my prayers. I contacted the family and got the job. This was at the beginning of July. I would fly out early in August. My plan was to nanny for a year and save money for my mission.
For some reason Greg and I started dating again, without talking about it. Suddenly we were just holding hands and stuff. We were dating. This was the best period of dating ever. EVER. There was NO uncertainty. I didn't feel like he was at all restless. We both knew when it would end, and we cared so much about each other that we wanted to spend as much time together as we could before I left. It was heaven. We never talked about what would happen when I left.
For two of our last 4 weeks together Greg was in Salt Lake City helping a Polish television crew with translation. They were there to cover the 150th anniversary of the pioneers coming into the Salt Lake Valley. I missed him so much while he was gone, but loved to hear how the filming was going etc. Instead of having Greg help with translation, they decided to have him be the host/narrator of the entire documentary! He was a star, and had the opportunity to bear his testimony on screen for his entire country to hear!
I was able to attend the whatever-it's-called ceremony when the modern day "pioneers," who had made the trek to emulate their progenitors, came into the valley. Here we are, there on Ensign Peak. I've got my media pass around my neck (which meant I could go anywhere).
Do you guys know who Dan Rascon is? News anchor there in SLC, I think (looked it up, KUTV2 News). Back then he worked for the church and he was assigned to the Polish TV crew, so Greg spent those two weeks with him. We both think he's a really great person.
I had one other experience while the TV crew was in Provo. We went to a huge pioneer celebration at Cougar Stadium. Here I am on top of the stadium with some of the crew.
At one point all the missionaries from the MTC, thousands of them, came flooding onto the field and marched around the track singing a hymn. It was one of the most moving things I've ever witnessed. My sister had just left for her mission to Korea, so I was extra weepy. In that moment a sudden impression came over me that saddened me, and my tears of wonder and gratitude for those missionaries and the restored Gospel turned, for a moment, to tears of mourning for a loss. I understood that I was not going to serve a mission.
But I also knew I was flying out to my nannying job in one week.