I met the man I now call my husband just a few short days after moving to Florida. It was a strange first meeting. He wore a hat, three-day scruff, and told everyone his name was Oswald.
“Welcome to Family Home Evening, do we have any new people or visitors here?” said the Young Single Adult representative.
Everyone pointed to me, “Hi, I’m Jennie Openshaw and I just moved here from Arizona. I work at a television station in town.”
“Hi Jennie” came a chorus of 15-20 young adults ages 18-30.
A bigger guy put his arm around this good looking guy, the one with the scruff and said, “this is my friend.”
“Hey everyone, my name’s Oswald and this is my mission buddy, Chris.”
“Hey Oswald” replied the group.
Later that night, an interesting conversation occurred.
“Kevin, is that you?” asked one of the young men.
“Why you hiding?”
“Oh, no reason.”
Months later, this is the story I got: he had been gone on a mission for 2 years to Argentina, but before he left, he had kissed a girl. Not just any girl, but a girl who made it her mission to see how many guys she could kiss. He used to joke that he was number 5,396. He was not proud of this and when she was at the same function we were just days after he got home, he tried to disguise himself. Hence, why I thought his name was Oswald. So Oswald he will be from here on out.
This rouse didn’t trick anyone, but the girl he would one day want to marry. Everyone else remembered him from before his mission. But Oswald pulled the wool over my eyes.
After this first initial meeting, I began dating someone else and became really good friends with Oswald’s sister. Little did I know this would be the reason behind the greatest love story of my life.
This other guy and I did not date for very long and broke up for many reasons. Suzi and I continued to be friends. We would hang out constantly and talk all the time. I remember her telling me that I should go on a date with her brother, but I was not convinced. I had just been broken up with and was enjoying my freedom. I enjoyed hanging out with the girls and had planned numerous girls’ night outs. But Suzi was persistent. So I decided it wouldn’t be so bad.
Oswald and I had our first “real” date on December 20th.
Oswald pulled up to my apartment in a navy blue Lexus. We went to this little Japanese place and ate from the hibachi grill, a first for me. Oswald had me try sushi for the first time. I was not convinced when the squishy texture hit my tongue for the first time, but I am a firm believer in tasting things at least once. (now, years later, it’s a fav!)
After our delicious meal, he drove me downtown. Not the part of downtown where the buildings are all rundown and littered with graffiti, but the part of downtown that has a river running through it. The part of downtown that has big buildings lining the river walk leaving a beautiful glowing reflection in the river below.
As we walked along the river, my arm interlocked with his, I tried to convince him he was to good for me. That my past mistakes had left him in a realm I could not reach. I talked and talked without giving anything away, but I most certainly felt I did not deserve him.
Coming up: the first time I met his parents…