I'm following the theme (Long Distance Relationships) for Soap Opera Sunday (okay, sort of) for the next few weeks to tell the tale of my relationship with Greg, and again, because the journal I wrote it in went missing years ago. Hosted this month by 2 hearts at My Life in Type
The relationship began long distance. It was the beginning of summer and I had just graduated from Ricks College and moved to Provo to live with my sister who was attending BYU. We lived in a house off campus, and (almost) our entire ward lived on that one block. My roommates were wonderful, and so was the neighboring duplex full of guys.
After I'd lived there for a few weeks, my rommies started talking about some "Greg" character. Soon they started talking specifically to me about this personage. How wonderful he was. How well we'd get along. How he was the favorite of all the guys living next door (many of whom had served missions in Poland). How hilarious he was. How he and I should totally hook up. (and I, of course, was wondering, "If he's so wonderful and beloved, why am I supposed to hook up with him? Why are you all trying to pawn him off on me?")
I hadn't even met him. Apparently he was Polish and had gone home to visit his family for the summer. There was something of a countdown to the day he would return. I remember coming home from somewhere and my roommate Carmen grabbing me by the arm and saying, "Greg's back! You have to come and meet him!!" She dragged me across the yard of the neighboring duplex, up the stairs and through the open screen door into a room full of strangers.
Yes, the room was full. It seems Carmen wasn't the only person that wanted to see him immediately on his return. She pointed him out to me. He was sitting on the floor, but I could tell that he was tall and very thin. He also looked very European with his thin rimmed glasses, his large eyes and not terribly small nose, his never-braced teeth (they weren't crooked, but they had personality), and his not very matching clothes. He seemed nice. He was talking and laughing with people and playing with a cute black puppy. He had amazing hands (best hands I've ever seen, before or since) and I loved the way he pet and shook and wrestled with that little puppy. We eventually made our way across the room to him and Carmen introduced us. He shook my hand and said it was nice to meet me. Then we wandered out and went back home.
WOW!! What an impression! Apparently I had made quite an impression on him, too because the next day we crossed paths with each other and he held out his hand and introduced himself again. I explained that I'd met him the night before at his house. He didn't remember (makes perfect sense, it was crowded, loud and he'd seen me for 3 seconds). We chatted for a second and went our separate ways.
A few days later a friend of mine came to visit and showed me a letter she'd received from her boyfriend who was serving a mission in Poland. He'd written something in Polish and I was going to take her next door to one of the returned missionaries from Poland. The one we talked to suggested we ask Greg. He came into the room and shook hands with my friend and then reached out to shake my hand. While we were shaking I told him we'd met before. Twice. He apologized and translated the letter. Within a week or two he'd asked me for my friend's phone number and asked her out.
He was friends with my roommates and all the other girls in the ward. And he spent a lot of time with girls. Chatting and teasing. We were around each other quite a lot. I was getting to know him. He was funny. I did like him. But we definitely weren't headed in any sort of direction together. I put the prophesies of my roommates waaaaay in the back of my mind.
He started tagging along when I went to do my grocery shopping (I had a car, he didn't). It was fun to spend time alone with him. Over the weeks we started to become friends. I would watch him make his Polish open faced sandwiches, for which he skillfully sliced (with those awesome hands) all manner of vegetables; radishes, pickles, tomatoes, as well as cheese, keilbasa and hard boiled eggs. He would eat the sadwiches (I always passed when he offered to share) and then get back to his homework.
I liked him. He really was hilarious. And he was rather handsome. Okay, very handsome. And he seemed to like to spend time with me. The words of my roommates weren't quite so far back in my mind anymore...