Sunday, February 21, 2010

Love Story--Part 2 {The Bubble Sheet}

Photo of Us in '04

(Normally, I call my husband "Magnet" on this blog, but to tell this story right, I need to stick to his real name for now. I don't think this will be too confusing for anyone, but thought I'd clarify just in case.)

I stood there completely alone and began to let the air's chill seep into me. It felt like the nasty disturbance of an alarm destroying a pleasant dream. My pride told me it was time to head home, but I held on for a few more moments. And then, as if to stop my surrender, Will hurriedly came out of the building. The muscles in my neck finally relaxed, yet my heart continued to tense in nervousness. We clumsily pieced together our miscommunication and hurried to the back row of the auditorium just as the lights were dimming. My icy nose and fingers quickly thawed as I melted into my seat, relieved.

My memory of the rest of the concert is foggy; I know we whispered throughout the melodies, and that I enjoyed tilting our heads close to talk about Germany--he'd just returned from a mission there, and Heidelberg, Germany was the place I called home. Yes, that first date is mostly a haze of happy memories, but there's one thing I'll always clearly recall--the bubble sheet.

Will had to fill in a questionnaire to get credit for attending. At the end of the concert, I spied the circles at the top of the page that would reveal his last name. My eyes strained as I put the letters together: g-r-o-s-s. Gross. Gross?

“Is that really your last name?” I whispered without hesitation.

“Yeah, it is” he said, completely nonchalant.

(Looking back, I shudder at the thought of asking him such a thing--was that really his last name? --Of course it was really his last name! I should have at least saved further questioning for another time--could've tried asking him questions that would get me a second date. Sheesh.)

But I fell servant to my curiosity and continued.

“Did you get made fun of a lot as a kid, having a last name like that?”

“Actually, not too much. It’s German, you know—means “great” in German, he said with a grin.

Hmmm,” I shrugged. I guess, technically, I did know that it meant great (and big and large) in German, but it certainly wasn’t the first thing that came to mind.

Next, I obliviously confirmed the Mormon girl stereotype by listening to the ring of “Marie Gross” in my head. Accompanied with the classical music we were listening to, it didn’t sound half bad. Nope, the idea of “Mrs. Gross” married to William “the great” sounded marvelous to me.

“Or gross income,” he continued. “It’s also a financial term,” he told me as we slowly filed out of the auditorium. But it didn’t matter. I was enchanted by his everything.
Claire and I were determined to avoid the Freshmen-Must-Gain-15-Pounds Curse, and so we were strictly committed to running two miles each night to at least soften the spell. As Will and I walked home from the concert, I bravely asked him if he wanted to join us. My cheeks couldn’t hide my delight when he said “yes” because that meant our first evening together was to continue for at least thirty more minutes.

He waited on the couch as I changed into my running gear. When I came out and introduced Claire and Will to one another, I was reminded of how absolutely beautiful Claire is with her big smile, angelic blond hair and perfect figure. Not only that, but she’s smart and funny, too. I was proud to have such an attractive friend, but also quite nervous about the all too likely prospect of Will deciding he liked her instead of me.

Little did I know, my fears wouldn’t sleep any time soon.


  1. Marie, I was getting ready to close my dashboard and go to bed--it IS 1:45 am, afterall. But I thought "oh, I'll just go read a bit of Marie's post and finish the rest in the morning." No such luck-- I became enGROSSed (sorry about the cheesy pun) and really enjoyed Pt 2 of your & Will's love story! Ah, new love....such a magical time. Great post!

  2. These stories are fun to read when we know there's a happy ending, but reading it is bringing back memories of college relationships with not so happy endings. Aren't you glad those days are over?!

  3. Man, you really know how to leave someone hanging, you know that! This is too fun. I love your love story, and I can't wait to hear more. lol!

  4. I really can't WAIT to hear the rest!!

  5. I am LOVING reading your love story. Can't wait to see the rest of it. And I always enjoy and am amazed at your talent for writing.

  6. Don't feel bad about the last name thing.
    I got into an argument with Tony about whether or not he was hispanic. I thought he was pulling my leg. -no wonder he's sensative about it.

  7. What a fun story you two have. I'm glad that I was there to witness the beginning. I'll never forget the time I ran into Will at a rodeo (must've been in 2003??) and he said you were dating again. I was so surprised and excited for you.

  8. This is entertainment.=) I remember seeing you guys out running when we would be out in the freezing weather. Man, we were crazy....and super hot!=)

  9. I think it makes you all the more endearing that you have (or used to have) confidence issues. I think you are so smart, beautiful, kind and talented that I have a hard time picturing you worrying about competition from a roommate. You've definitely caught us in a second cliff hanger! I'm so glad you've posted some more of the story. Keep it coming!!

  10. what a lovely tale you tell!!
    can't wait for part 3!

  11. you are such a good writer. And so good at cliffhangers! Can't wait to hear the rest. Glad to know it all works out.

  12. Oh, man. You guys are making me feel bad for leaving you hangin'! haha

    Expect part 3 on Sunday, and thanks for the comments!

  13. I'm your sister and I didn't even know all these details! What a fun love story :)

  14. i have been waiting for a moment all week when i could sit down without being interrupted so i could read part 2 and i am so glad i waited :)!!! i too can't wait to hear more!! if anyone can handle the last name GROSS it is the both of you, you two are the furthest thing from GROSS that i can think of :)!!!

  15. K I already know this story but can't wait for part 3! You've left me confused with your last line, which is weird because I already know the ending! I had no clue you felt I was a threat and I still don't believe it for a second! It was obvious who had the class and charm and beauty out of the two of us. It pretty much only depended on if the guy preferred blonds or brunettes! :) I love you. And I love your story! :)

  16. I don't think I realized we missed each other at Ricks by just a few months! That's where Brandon and I courted too. (Even though he was attending BYU.) Good times! Love reading the story.

  17. Marie--it has been so too long! I just stumbled on your blog from Erin's and I'm loving reading about this and seeing pictures of your cute little baby! What a piece of heaven. Also, love reading about BYU-I years. Oh the memories...




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