The first thing I noticed about my wife upon our initial meeting was her smile. When I first saw her, she was seated in the passenger seat of my friend’s car. Her blue-jeaned legs were sticking out of the open door. Her feet were on the ground. She was bent over tying her hiking boots so that I couldn’t see her face.
As I neared the car, she looked up and flashed a dazzling smile at me, gazing at me in a way that said that she already cared about me. My heart picked up a few beats as I felt something inside that told me that she was special.
My wife’s memory of our first meeting is different. She recounts how we had met five years earlier at the local LDS institute of religion. Upon later being reminded of that event, it took quite a bit of work for me to fully retrieve the memory. Following a Friday evening dance at the institute, I was playing a currently popular song on the piano when two girls approached.
Having grown up with only brothers, I didn’t know that girls never do anything by themselves if they can get another girl to go with them. Heck, they even go to the restroom together. One of the young ladies standing near me asked where I had served my LDS mission. Upon answering, she asked if I knew another missionary serving there. I did. In fact, we had worked on Boy Scout camp staff together.
A conversation ensued. Being kind of shy around girls and having only brothers, I was oblivious to the fact that the girl was trying to come on to me. I wanted to ask for her phone number, but I felt uncomfortable asking only one of the girls for contact information, and asking both seemed ridiculous. My limited understanding of female social customs prevented me from realizing that the other girl was merely providing moral support.
As the next five years passed, my wife served a mission for the LDS Church and completed more schooling. I did school and advanced in my career. On several occasions friends ask me if I knew this girl. I didn’t (or at least I thought I didn’t). Several remarked that they needed to get the two of us together because it seemed like we would hit it off well. But no arrangements were ever made.
Then one day I was called by one of my former Boy Scouts. He asked if I would double-date with him on an excursion to the mountains to do some Dutch oven cooking. I said that I’d be more than happy to oblige, but that I didn’t have any prospect for getting a date on short notice. No problem, he explained, because he had already arranged a date for me. I had been on plenty of blind dates, so I didn’t mind, especially since I would be helping a friend.
I was unprepared for how beautiful my blind date ended up being. She was friendly and outgoing, quite uninhibited about the situation. She put me at ease. Then when my friend and I started building the campfire, she jumped right in without being asked. Moreover, she knew what she was doing. I was very impressed. About 4½ months later, my former Boy Scout acted as my best man when my wife and I wed.
A number of years have passed since that day, but my wife’s beautiful smile still makes my heart beat a little faster. We’ve had our challenges. Facing them together hasn’t always been comfortable, but it has strengthened our bonds of love.
I thought I loved my wife the day we knelt over the altar and were joined in matrimony. And I did. But today there is a depth and a breadth to our love that I couldn’t have even fathomed back then. I hope that years from now I will be able to look back on this day and honestly say the same thing.