Back in August of 2003 I broke up with my girlfriend (we'd been dating for a year) as we both decided we wanted to take different paths through life. I was back to being a single man.
I did a little search to see if there was anyone up in the Puget Sound area, specifically on an island. Lo and behold I came across a strikingly beautiful woman (see I'm sharing my feelings), and it said she was from a place called Camano Island, Washington. I thought "Washington? Camano? Island? Hey I bet that is up in the Puget Sound area."
So let me just describe her profile to you first:
She played the piano-but not just played the piano but was an awesome piano player-which just completely won me over.
She had been out of a rough relationship and I had gotten out of a relationship where priorities were different and so that was what we were both looking for.
I wanted to send her what they call a "smile", which is what you send someone when you are interested in getting to know them. But I didn't have all of my pictures in my profile complete, so I finished all that and as soon as I got that all done I sent her a smile and said "Hey I'm interested in you, let's chat" or something of that nature. I sent her a little smile and she wrote back, and we hit it off right away. We had a lot in common. Every email we sent back and forth to each other we just had so much to talk about.
Eventually I asked for her number (because I hate to email- I'm a slow typer!), and I got denied. (Yes I'm sharing my feelings again). But then she finally gave it to me and so we started calling back and forth a couple of times. We eventually set up a date where I would come up there - it was November 4th.
First Date: Not a Homework Assignment
At the same time, at church, I was taking a "Dating and Courtship" class where the teacher told us "All right. All guys need to ask out one girl, and all girls need to be forward enough to be asked out once this week." I thought it was the perfect opportunity to ask Jenni out! So I called her and asked her out because it was NOT a homework assignment-but just a good excuse.
Coming from both of our situations, you can just see the hand of the Lord in bringing us together and how it was also perfect preparation to bring us together. There was a friendship. It wasn't like a "I'm interested in you to marry you", but more or less we were just building a friendship because we understood each other and we were in the same situation- getting over long term relationships that almost dealt with identical situations. Well not identical, but ones that we could both relate to easily. So the timing and prior situations put us in a spot that we both cannot deny the hand of the Lord being involved. Ok, so I had to interject that.
So I jumped in my car and drove up to Camano Island for our first date.
I was excited and looking forward to having fun. I was also excited to be heading back up to that area. I was even more excited for the reason of going up there. I mean here I had developed a, well "deep" isn't the right word, but I had developed a really great connection with Jenni just over emails and the phone-and I wanted to be able to meet this wonderful person that I made a connection with. So it was exciting in that aspect. I drove up there to her parents place, got out of the car and I could hear the piano playing. I thought "I bet that is Jenni playing the piano." I rang the door, it opened up, and Helllooooooo Jenni. I thought she was very cute. Yes, Jenni was cute when the door first opened. (Again, I’m sharing my feelings so Jenni will be happy with me).
Jenni didn't want to stick around the house very long because both of her parents were there, so she kind of hurried me in, introduced me, we made our lunches and then we hurried and left. I was a little confused by that at first, but it was fun because we got in there and started the date like we did it all the time.
Something Jenni's mom told her several months later, was that she knew from the first time that she met me that I was going to be the man Jenni would marry. And her mother, the first date with her dad, knew that she was going to marry him.
We had a really great first date. We went on a picnic to Mt. Erie, went on a ferry ride (which, by the way, Jenni already told you about our little funny moment on the ferry).
Oh another funny story:
While we were making our sandwiches for our date I saw that there were pickles out. I love pickles so I said "Yes pickles" and started loading up my sandwich with them. She paused and then said "Ok well, I guess I'll try them." So then a while later when we were up eating our sandwiches on our picnic, finally she was like "Ugh" and started throwing the pickles off of her sandwich. I wondered why in the world she would put pickles on her sandwich if she didn't like them. And then I remembered on her profile, they have this section for 3 things you hate doing, and one of hers was "eating pickles". So she did one of her 3 worst things just for me on our first date.
Just shows you how important it was and how forgetful I am. Haha.
So anyway back to our first date. We drove down to catch a ferry and we had to wait quite a while for it, and it was VERY cold outside. And so we sat in the car and talked for a while. She was telling me about her ex and how he didn't want her to go out with me, and had told her that if she went out with me one more time then they were through. So I got rejected later that night when I asked her out again. (Yeah, I know forgetful Will again) Haha. A while later I asked her," So. Do you kiss on the first date?" and she said, "No." And I said" Well then!" And I put the car in reverse and started backing out. (I just wanted to show her a little of my sense of humor).
That first date set the pace for the rest of our dating relationship. We were instantly comfortable around each other, and always had fun and laughter when together. It has always been from the very beginning an exciting friendship.
Things did progress over the next coming months.
A month after our first date Jenni came down for a church dance.
We had fun but my sister's cat happened to pee on her cell phone. It was quite funny looking back, but at the time I wondered if that would have dampened any future progression.
Anyway, I saw Jenni two more times before Christmas as I passed by her place on my way to skiing in Whistler.
It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve where we got to spend more then just a few hours together. It was also then that she realized my irresistible charm (those that know me laugh here).
I remember a few days later getting an email from Jenni. Her ex-boyfriend was in town visiting and she said in her email that even though she was hanging out with her ex who she was trying to work things out with, that all she could think about was how much fun we had New Year’s Eve/ day and how she wished I was there. WOW!! That was quite bold for our friendship, but I welcomed it with excitement. The day after her ex flew home realizing they were done; I was back up there spending some more fabulous time with Jenni.
Things just progressed from there. We saw each other two more times in January and felt much more comfortable.
One of those times I had a neat experience. Jenni took me into a room after church and played the piano for me.
She played a piece that she was currently composing. The spirit filled my entire body. I envisioned her as my wife and us playing with our little children. The song was able to express and portray that joy and positive energy that comes with a family centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ. (Later on this song became "Prelude in F" from Jenni's debut album). It was then that I felt Heavenly Father’s comforting touch telling me that Jenni was special and that He had brought us together for a purpose not yet known to me, but that I had received His blessing in dating His daughter. That meant a lot to me.
Afterwards, Jenni and I sat and talked with each other and I shared my experience with her. She even gave me those “kiss me eyes”, but for one reason or another that didn’t take place quite yet.
We kept making dates to see each other but sometimes the time in between was long. Those were hard times. We had finally stepped up to a new plateau in our relationship after almost 5 months of friendship. We talked a lot via the phone and email.
In one of those talks (I like to call them WAWA talks (Where Are We At). She expressed feelings that she wasn’t interested in dating anyone else but me at that point. I welcomed that as I felt the same way. After some brief discussing we decided not to see anybody else and to make our relationship exclusive. We decided to become boyfriend/girlfriend. It was about 5 minutes later in the conversion that I referred to myself as her boyfriend. That hit her slightly harder then it hit me and before you know it we broke up. (HaHa) Thus Jenni became my shortest dating partner in the history of Will’s 10 year dating life and yet she will be my longest eternal dating partner as well. :)