Wednesday, June 8, 2011

True Love Story--The Complete Version

I did a pretty rotten thing last year when I started telling my love story and then just stopped. Yeah, sorry about that... I should've completed the whole thing before I started posting.

I didn't realize the next few segments would be so difficult to write! The parts where Will wasn't in the story were really hard on me. But finally, I managed to finish the story! I do pinky promise I will not leave you hanging this time; I don't pinky promise there are no cheesy parts. And whether anyone reads it or not (it's rather lengthy), I'm so glad to have it all down for my own personal history.

And if you need a refresher or didn't catch the beginning of this captivating romance (hehe) start with Part 1 just below, otherwise just skip ahead to Part 4.

Love Story Part 1 {At First Sight}

Love Story Part 2 {The Bubble Sheet}

Love Story Part 3 {Window of Sunshine}

Love Story—Part 4 {Dating Frenzy}

(Photo Above: Taken on our seventh anniversary a few weeks ago. Emma and Ashley taught me how to make a True Love Icecream Cake to celebrate the occasion! Recipe can be found today on Notes She Wrote. )

I was devastated. I couldn’t comprehend how something I felt so right about was broken, how for no real identifiable reason, Will and I were a thing of the past. Like a constant lump in my heart, it was a tender pain. What hurt most was that our friendly interaction after the breakup seemed to dissolve into what felt like acquaintance status after he transferred to a new school. And so for the next year, I worked hard to forget about him.

I tried to distract myself. First, I briefly dated Paul. He was a good guy (cute, fun-loving), no doubt about that, but a little too goofy for my taste. And the thought of kissing him made me want to jump out of his truck. He was nothing compared to Will.

Not long after Paul, I met Ryan who, aside from being on the short side, I found very attractive. He reminded me of Superman—dark hair, fair skin, smart glasses. I loved how he adored me whether I was in the mood to reciprocate or not, and we casually dated for a semester. But I liked him best the following summer when he left on his mission and I returned home to Germany. I loved the romance of writing to him from my window-facing desk that overlooked my little German village. He’d send me pictures of himself all brown from the Brazilian sun and my little sisters and I would regularly coo over them.

As I wrote him letters in my bubbly cursive, I imagined him transforming into just the man I wanted. The summer passed quickly and I returned back to school. I kept in touch with his former roommates, and after getting to know them better; I discovered that Ryan the Romancer and Ryan the Roommate were two completely different people. The Ryan I knew was a go-getter gentleman, but his roommates insisted he was a lazy couch potato who rarely went to church. I refused to believe them and was horribly sad when I caught word that he’d sent a postcard to his roommates informing them he was fatally ill and would be returning home early.

Ryan was going to die.

That is, until I found out it was all a big joke! Looking back, I probably made a bigger deal of his little prank than I should have. Regardless, I concluded that he couldn’t be trusted. Goodbye, Ryan.

Hello, Brian. Brian was tall with dark curly hair, light eyes and an enticing smile. I spotted him from across the dance floor and really loved his classy way of dressing. But it didn’t take long to discover he was dripping with a mushy dating style and cared a little too much about his clothes. Did I really want to date a guy who tried to match what I was wearing on a daily basis? Uh, no, absolutely not. But he was relentless in his pursuit of me, and it eventually took persistent Marie rage (slamming doors in his face and good old fashioned hiding—not at effective as I’d like) to finally get rid of him. Yes, as well-dressed as he was, he definitely was not for me.

James was blond, ripped and captain of the Ricks College football team. I thought his last name was a perfect fit with mine: Marie Allred Anderson. It sounds like the name of a law firm to me now, but back then, I thought it slid off the tongue beautifully. But he made me feel dumb and inadequate, and I was even less decisive than normal around him. I felt like he thought he was doing me a huge favor by dating me. I think the deal breaker was the time I went to the nearby hot springs with him. As I stood next to the pool, feeling vulnerable in my bathing suit, he told me that his dad told him to make sure my ankles were small, because if they weren’t, that meant I’d get fat one day. My confidence was vacuumed by his presence.

Scott was the charismatic and preppy type. Looking back, he looked the part of a politician and always had a flock of girls pecking for his attention, which he freely gave. He was handsome to me, but I can’t pinpoint why; he had small brown eyes and moderately crooked teeth. He was flirty in a condescending way, which was compounded by his height. I had to crane my neck to look up at him. He was also non-committal, which I diagnosed as a result of unresolved issues with his past. Whatever the case, our affection felt contrived, and I was never sure if he really liked me and vice versa.

And so, for that first year after Will, it simply didn’t work out with any of these guys. In large part, this was because I was comparing them all to Will—the way he was so genuine and friendly, spiritual and smart. The first time I saw Will, he looked like the all-American family guy, my kind of perfect. Those other boys never stood a chance.

But after exhausting myself with impossible and unfulfilled dreams of these boyfriends renovating themselves into some semblance of Will, I decided that enough was enough.

“Claire, I’m done with Will.”

"Oh, yeah?”

She was confused since I hadn’t talked to, seen or heard from Will in ages.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t like him anymore. I’m over him. If I go on wishing that someday I’ll be with him again, then I’m going to spend my life very disappointed and alone. No more Will. He’s bad for my emotional health.”


“I’m serious.”

It wasn’t long after that conversation with Claire that I flew home to Germany again for the summer. I worked hard to save up for another year’s tuition, spent cherished time with family and welcomed the break from the dating frenzy of the previous school year. Toward the end of the summer, as if my email inbox yearned for some attention having been mostly neglected all summer long—ping! In bold, an email from Will Gross appeared. In shock, my eyebrows lifted toward the screen for a split second before I rushed to click it open.

I loved the casual and friendly email he’d written me; his kind voice filled my body with head-to-toe delight. Without missing a beat, I hit reply so that I could respond. But wait. I had to email Claire first:

Oh my gosh, Claire! You are never going to believe who wrote me!! WILL!! Aaah! I mean it wasn’t really anything, he just wanted to see how I was doing, but eek—WILL!! My Will. Can you believe it? Love, your giddy roommate.

I hit send.

And then all my manic feelings plummeted, my eyeballs doubled in size and I pushed my body away from the computer screen in disbelief at my carelessness. I didn’t send that email to Claire—I accidentally sent it to Will.

Will wrote me back as if nothing had happened, although I don’t think the increased ring of confidence in his next few emails was imaginary. We continued to fill one another’s inboxes in the few weeks left before I headed back to school...

Love Story Part 5 {Channing}

Part 6 (Engaged in Paris}

Love Story Part 7 {The Best Breakup News Ever}

Love Story Part 8 {Together Again}

Love Story Part 9 {Tears and Raindrops}


  1. Marie, I made a comment earlier but it only showed up under chapter 9. I wanted to add one more thing: Imagine that "jumping up and down on the bed" scene as over-the-top jubilant!!!

  2. p.s. I have one more comment for you when we talk next!

  3. I also meant to say, I LOVE all of the pictures of you and Will. They are fabulous!

    And that jumping on the bed thing totally cracked me up. I've only met your mom a couple of times and she seem so quiet and reserved but I can totally picture her doing that!!!

  4. Ok I love reading this because honestly I hardly remember all of this!! I don't remember that you sent Will the email you meant to send me!! That is so funny! And I don't remember some of those guys you dated....and are you sure that's all of them...I seem to remember a Dan...and some others. Oh wait, they might be in the next love story chapter. Ok, I will keep reading, gotta go for now though. Love ya!
    p.s. Was Ryan the same Ryan that I told you I saw at a grocery store and he asked about you and made me feel guilty for saying that we were both married with kids?
    p.p.s. I totally remember the Brian though....

  5. MARIE! You're a great writer. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this segment and empathized with you through all the dates that just weren't right. I had to laugh about your email mix up. Sounds like something I would do and then I'd die of embarrassment! Great post!!




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