07 February 2010

Stuffed Animals and Other Surprises

I actually started this post at Christmastime and forgot about it until just now. It is a list of gifts I have received over the years, that actually goes better with Valentines day anyway.

* A used math textbook from a boy with whom I went to high school. His dad was a math teacher, and I called the boy for help on my calculus. I called him a lot. Maybe he was tired of me?

*A huge box of crayons and other children's art supplies. I was a senior in high school. I ended up marrying the guy who gave those to me. Some of the crayons are still in Grace's bin. Isn't that romantic?

*A TI-85 calculator. I had to have the calculator for school, but it was so expensive that my parents wrapped it and put under the tree for me to open while the other kids opened the good stuff. I was bitter.

*For Valentine's I once received a large stuffed dog with a red bandana around its neck, along with tickets to the Olympic Rodeo. I have always disliked stuffed animals and tried to exude a non-fluffy aura so people could easily observe that about me. The giver was a well-meaning Elders quorum president from my singles ward. I think he liked me because I brushed my hair and wore makeup on Sundays. Things we had in common: the church, a pulse . . . (crickets chirping).

(side note: I've noticed that a lot of people operate on this assumption in setting people up, too: single + member of church = eternal companionship potential. I have set people up twice in my life, and both times it was pretty unspectacular. Not my special talent, which is sad, because I would love to set two people up and have them fall madly in love and get married, owing all of their bliss to me. And their children would win the Pulitzer Nobel Prize, also owing to my set-up.)

*When one of my friends came home from his mission, he gave me a stuffed bear from Ireland. His companion had asked what he would do with the bear, and he said, "Oh, I'll give it to the girl I marry." When I went on my mission I purged my belongings. I told that friend that we should basically never speak to each other again. I discarded all other stuffed animals (i.e. the bandana-ed dog), but for some inexplicable reason, I kept that bear. And I later married that friend.


Anonymous said...

aw, I like.

And I concur with the single + member of the church = eternal companionship equation in many lds matchmakers' minds. Only I would add one more to the equation: age. "Oh, you're both x years old!..." Once upon a time, a man (who... I'll just be polite and say I wasn't interested in him) in my ward attended my surprise birthday party and lit up when I told him my age. In anticipation of the likelihood of him asking me out, I had a preemptive imaginary conversation with him in which I said, "you know, there's a lot more to compatibility than just age." Luckily, I avoided him enough for the next year that I never actually had to use that line.

(And with all I've just said, no pressure on y'all with Alex's friend he still wants me to come down and meet, haha!)

msjvd said...

Nicely done on the sweet reminder to someone that Valentines' Day is coming up!

But given his history with you, is it really very likely he ever forgets?

Marie Says Yes said...

please. please. please. write your romance in story form so i can read it. i was seriously thinking about your love story today and thought "that is simply amazing. i want every detail."
the end.

The Rookie said...

Sigh...I just plain like this post.

I also think that people feel bad for we single folk, initially. Which leads to their terrible match-making. They're married little heads start churning out mates: "Oh, she's single. Darn, that must be hard. You know honey, your brother (the one who lives in your parents' basement and plays World of Warcraft ALL day) is also single. We should totally set them up!"

The Yoder's Four said...

You know, you and Alex have a story that is a little bit "Emma" and a little bit "Taming of the Shrew". (In a good way!) I'm glad you persevered and got married after all.

Jen said...

Lili, We would still love for you to come down at some point. And we'll just play it by ear. I think Alex's friend is unusually bright with a quirky sense of humor, both of which qualities I think you have. Nevertheless, given my track record I am inclined to leave the whole thing alone.

Marie, one of these days we'll get around to it. I just hesitate to post it on the blog, because do people want to be bored by romantic drivel? Maybe, maybe not. We'll see.

Melissa, Bahahahahaha. I also said to him at one point, "You didn't think we were going to get married after you went on your mission, did you?"

My5wmd said...

When the musical I was stage managing was nominated and then selected to play the Kennedy Center while I was in college, my dad wanted to get me a gift that said congrats and good luck. Did he get me a dozen roses? A stuffed animal? A box of chocolates? Nope. He got me a brand new Leatherman tool with the engraving "To Jen from Dad, Break a Leg, 1994." It was the most intuitive gift I think I've ever gotten. Perfect.

Jill said...

You can set me up