Friday, August 12, 2011

Stories of Jeff Excell - A Date to Remember

It would take me years of being married (three to be exact) to discover how rarely men recognize an awkward situation and to fully understand the undeniable persuasiveness of my batting eyelashes. Thank goodness I had at least that going for me at our cringing ward prayer interaction.

Because I believe I owe it to my fluttering lashes for the phone call I received later that week. It was my first real phone call from the suave Jeff Excell, and, as he put it, he was calling to ask me out on our fifth date.

Oh that Jeff Excell. Such a jokester. Wait, he was joking, wasn't he? Is he just trying the old TV line of pretending we've been on more dates than we really had so he could kiss me on our first date? Oh my gosh. Was I going to kiss Jeff Excell? Or was he just trying to rid us of the nervousness associated with a first date by labeling it a fifth date? Either way, his wording left me wondering if he would be expecting a kiss, and I geared up for the big moment as I got ready for our date.

He picked me up right on time. I love when a guy gets you right on time. Even a little early is cute. Like they're not ashamed to let you know how anxious they are to see you.

We drove over to campus and walked around. Okay. So we may or may not have found a way into the secret underground tunnels of campus, but I don't want the cops showing up at our door, so I'll just call it walking around (and under) campus.

We talked about our families' Christmas traditions. When I found out our families both did a Christmas talent show, I knew we were meant to be. I love asking people what they do for Christmas because I strangely think it tells a lot about a person. And I was liking what Jeff told me about him.

We then went over to Jeff's parents' house to play Sudoku. We sat on the floor on opposite sides of a coffee table and raced to complete the puzzles. It was nerdily romantic.

Before long, Jeff's family came walking in the door and they all casually huddled around to view our "fifth date" Sudoku spectacle. I remember thinking they were really funny as they joked about riding around town singing Christmas carols on the back of a trailer filled with hay. I think at one point I was invited on the hypothetical hay trailer Christmas caroling ride to which Jeff ushered me out of the house and apologized, worried I may have been embarrassed. I wasn't. And I thought his family was hilarious, perfectly matching the image I had of them based on what Jeff had shared with me earlier about their Christmases together.

We made our way to my apartment. Just before we got out of the car, Jeff told me he had something for me. He leaned into the back of his truck, rustled around a little bit until his hand reappeared with a neatly wrapped gift. I am sure I looked confused. And happy. And excited. And shocked. A little hesitant, I tore through the paper to find my dream Christmas present just beneath the wrapping -- a My Little Pony.

I melted. His gift reassured me our awkward interaction from the Sunday before wasn't quite as catastrophic as I had led myself to believe. It was just what I needed. It was nice to know he could mend my awkwardness by transforming it into a cute sentiment. It was sweet to see he didn't judge me for what I said, but valued my opinion no matter how nonsensical and immature. Pony and all. My dream man. And it was only our first date. Or was it our fifth date? I didn't care. I was in heaven.

As my giddiness quickly escalated with the gift of my brand new pony, I had to contain myself by shifting our attention to an inevitable round of Super Smash Brothers on the Nintendo64. Our knees touched mid-game, causing a tornado of butterflies to spiral in a wild fury in my stomach. The game ended. It was late. But Jeff Excell was not leaving. Which didn't bother me one bit.

One way or another, we both ended up chatting on the floor under the same blanket. I didn't know this then, but Jeff has this weird thing about loving to talk in the wee hours of the morning. It's a little bit of an adjustment being married to a nocturnal animal who will sit in the same room with you for three hours without saying a word until the clock strikes twelve. Because only when my body is utterly tired and ready to succumb to sleep does Jeff decide he wants to pour his heart out to me.

He was the same then as he is now. Not that we weren't talking our whole date, but the later it got, the more he was willing to share. We talked about hopes and dreams, our childhoods, and even his fear of women's issues. It was so much fun.

All the while I kept my lips puckered, waiting for that fifth date kiss that was bound to hit me at any moment.

I was sure the moment had arrived when conversation shifted to first kisses. That was my tell-tale sign a guy was going to kiss you. If they start talking about kissing, it's because kissing is on their brain. I prepared myself for the best first kiss of my life.

Eyes closed, lips glossed, perfectly puckered, breath held in excited suspense and anticipation -- only to hear Jeff shuffling around, standing up and telling me it was probably time for him to go.

I put my kiss-face away and felt surprised by the outcome of the night. Not necessarily a bad surprise though. It was kind of a relief to not kiss Jeff on our first and/or fifth date. Kind of gentlemanly of him. I knew we both had a good time, and I was sure the date was a success. I mean, the guy bought me a pony for Pete's sake. It was refreshing to have a boy interested in more than a kiss. We hugged and Jeff walked out the door. I closed the door and squealed. What a perfect first date.


MelissaJoy said...

LOVE. please keep them coming. Seriously.

Natalie&Brad said...

Very nice. I have to admit, I fell even more in love with Brad because he waited to kiss me too. So points to our husbands!

CandL said...

i LOVE this.

Rebecca said...

"It's a little bit of an adjustment being married to a nocturnal animal who will sit in the same room with you for three hours without saying a word until the clock strikes twelve. Because only when my body is utterly tired and ready to succumb to sleep does Jeff decide he wants to pour his heart out to me."

I think that was my favorite part.

Also, where is this My Little Pony? I don't think I've ever seen it, though of course I've heard all about it.

Kim said...

My favorite line was "I put my kiss-face away..."

Sarah, you are such a fun writer!! I want you to keep the stories coming as well. I have heard you tell the stories, but it's so much fun to read them. And, they are going to make a perfect keepsake for you to share with your children some day so they will know how and why you two fell in love.

Keifersgirl said...

I have been reading your blog ever since you designed my header quite awhile back. I. can't. stop. reading.

Wow. You are so entertaining and witty. I second Kim. You ARE a "fun writer" and I look forward to your "Jeff Excell Stories". You guys are too cute.