When I look back, it is a wonder that Cassanda and I got married at all. Turns out, I don’t always make a good first impression, or second, or third, you get the idea. Cassanda and I had informally met a few times before what I think of as our first official meeting. We went to the same church where I was the choir director. In casual conversation one practice, I managed to insult her a couple of times with my bone dry humor. I then proceeded to tell her and the other Alto singing in the choir that day, when we switched parts for “fun,” that they could surely hit the Soprano notes, because I could, which I then demonstrated.
Over the next few months, I helped her build up a bit of an impression that I thought I was all that and a bag of whatever your favorite snack food is. It surprises me a bit that I was able to do that, given that I was still fairly shy and was a bit depressed. So, when I went over to help her roommate with homework at the beginning of the next semester, it is a wonder that she came out of her bedroom to listen to me play the guitar, apparently I wasn’t that shy.
When a girl tells a guy that he can get any girl by playing the guitar and singing and the guy argues with her that that is just not true, most girls do not take that as a personal challenge, but most girls are not Cassanda, challenge accepted. Two days after this “first” meeting, I was talking with Cassanda’s roommate in the library when Cassanda came by. I didn’t know it at the time, but she was not really coming over to talk to me or her roommate but was instead coming to check out a guy that she was interested in sitting a few rows behind us. I was quickly able to grab her attention with my weird storytelling abilities and we ended up walking home together. While walking home we each had a different reaction: while I was thinking that although I wanted to, I just couldn’t ask a girl on a date when I didn’t have any idea what her name was and it was way too late to ask her at this point, and she was thinking how nice it would be to talk this easily with a guy that she actually liked. Burn!
Over the next week or so, we talked a lot more, I even made up excuses to visit her apartment, including bringing over my world famous, to me, cookies. After a week and a half of “meeting,” I decided I would ask her on a date and headed to the library in the hopes that she was there studying. I know, if I wasn’t such a wimp, I could have called her, or even gone to her apartment, but that would have been too scary. So I opted for the library, and as luck would have it, she went there to see me as well, or so she claims. After about 3 hours of sitting next to her trying to get my courage up, I use this world’s best line: “want to see me get nervous,” and then I asked her on a date.
Fast forward a few days and I am picking her up to go out for dinner, not creative, but safe. I gave her some options, hoping she would choose the restaurant in the city a half hour away, Applebee’s, instead of one of the local places. Good new, she chooses Applebee’s. Dinner was fine, though I was too nervous to eat much, and we were on our way back. As we came off the highway, to my surprise and shame, there was a local Applebee’s right there, real nice Jacob.
I had a couple of girls I was friends with once tell me not to take a girl on a first date for more than 2 hours, because she would have other things she wanted to do. What they didn’t tell me was that only applies if the girl is not interested in you, if the girl is interested and you take her home at 9:00 on a Saturday night, she is going to think that you don’t like her. Anyway, so I take her home after 2 hours, bad idea. I also decide to open up and tell her about some of my fears, like spiders and the dark, another bad idea. Then I tell her about my family. I always thought a girl would like to hear about how great I thought my family was, nope, then she thinks they are too good for her and that she would never fit in, bad idea again. So we go up to her door and since I don’t like to be touched, the hug initiated by her left much to be desired. You know the kind, where you stand apart and the guy kind of pats you on the back a bit.
So Cassanda goes home with this new impression of me: here is this super skinny, not particularly attractive guy, who is afraid of everything, has a near perfect family, doesn’t want to spend time with me, and gives “weak-sauce” hugs.
The next day, Sunday, I was trying to decide how I felt about Cassanda and the thought came, “she just makes me happy.” So I approach her to talk, not once, but twice. There have been a few times in my life when I have pretended like I was talking with someone who was not actually there, let me tell you, those conversations were amazing compared to these 2 where Cassanda ignored me to my face. She admits it was awkward, but didn’t want to “lead me on.” It worked, I got the message. Jacob, you have no chance.
Later on that day, we heard the news of the passing of a great leader that we both loved, Gordon B. Hinckley. Instead of wanting to call her mom or her sisters to talk, as she usually would have done, Cassanda wanted to talk to me, the guy that she had ignored all day. Why wasn’t I calling her, bet you can guess. Later on that night, she texted me. I immediately called back, and the rest as they say is history.