Do you want to hear a love story? If not, this is not the post to read! I have been thinking about love a great deal lately and my own story. Like everyone's own story, mine is unique, funny, and full of memories that my children should know. I am going to share it with you in a few installments. I shall try not to bore you! I wasn't bored as it was happening!
Once upon a time I was 20 years old and so slender that I want to cry now! I had long brown tresses that shined in the sun and waved in the wind with their feathered "Farah" perfectness. If there was one thing I was sure about every day it was this...my hair was looking good! I kept my comb ever ready in my purse for quick fixes between classes. Another thing that I liked about myself then was my 28" waist. Not meaning to sound vain I shall elaborate. I was very tubby all through high school. It was a painful thing! I was shy, insecure, and had dated twice in three years. But somehow, in the first two years of college I had dropped the chubs and was feeling better about myself and life in general than ever before. It was with this happy self-confidence and my new "Ziggy" brand jeans on my behind that I went to my BYU ward's opening social at Kiwanis park in Provo.
The setting was majestic! Sitting right against the bench of the Wasatch mountains with the giant block 'Y' looking down on us we gathered as mostly strangers in a new ward under a pavillion to get to know eachother. I was on the lookout for any eligible young man (I am positive I was not alone in this exercise). I had in my hand a sheet of paper and a pencil. The paper contained items we were to find out about eachother. Whoever got all of the information filled out first won a spectacular reward like a giant Hershey's bar! I set about asking perfect strangers such questions as, "Have you ever gone sky diving?" and "Are you a twin?". If the answer was yes they were to write their name on my paper and I moved on.
I was quite popular in the "Getting to Know You" game as it turned out! Not only was I one of the few left-handed ward members, but I had a father who owned cattle. One of the items to find on our paper scavenger hunt was this, "Who owns the most cows?" Word quickly spread that Marianne Ellsworth had about 800 or so! (Not with me in Provo, of course!) I was sought out by every young lady, every skinny 19 year old freshman guy, and...TA DA!...every returned missionary in attendance...hunky or otherwise! It was during this process that I found several young men who caught my eye. What I didn't realize was that one of them had noticed me as well. What was it that drew his attention to me? My smile, my flowing hair, and my tight new jeans! (As he likes to tell it, I was very flirty that day...who knew? I was very inexperienced!)
After the game and a little speech by our Bishop, Franz Johanssen, the atmosphere was less structured. There were other games to play or we could just wander about and visit with eachother. My roommates were all busy with these activities and I found myself alone so I decided to go watch a sand volleyball game that had started up. I sat down on the cement curb bordering the pit next to a couple of pretty cute guys. The one nearest to me went into the typical nice to meet you mode and asked the ususal questions,
" What's you name?", "Which apartment do you live in?", "What is your major?"
and perhaps the one that brought the most attention,
"Where are you from?"
I answered that although my family had recently moved to Wendell, Idaho (where all of those cows lived!) I still considered myself from Mesa, Arizona where I had grown up.
"Mesa?! Do you know Eldon Cooley?!"
I replied that I not only knew him but that he was my Stake President, my Mayor, his wife was a high school friend of my Dad's, and they lived in my ward!
"Really?! He was my mission President! That means you would know one of the counselors in the presidency, Ken Harbaugh?"
"Well, yes! He was my bishop. We were all in the same ward." This gave me something in common with this clean-cut young man with the big smile. We visited for a few minutes and then went on with the rest of the activity.
Later that week I saw a slip of paper on our apartment refrigerator. It said "Derek Muse and Dee Loose, dinner on Saturday." (One of Bishop J.'s great ideas was to have the girls in the ward cook dinner for a different set of guys once a month...the better to get to know you my dear!) I stood there looking at the two names thinking "Muse, Loose, Loose, Muse...they rhyme! What funny, different names!" To be honest, I don't remember the dinner, but I do remember the next day, Sunday. We met in a classroom building called the M.A.R.B. for church. As I sat in the theater style classroom and watched the Sacrament being blessed, Dee Loose stood out among the three young men preparring and blessing the bread and water. He positively glowed with what I percieved as happiness and goodness. That was very attractive to me! Hmmm...Dee Loose...!
...to be continued.