So…you’ve heard about how we met and our first date(s). It’s a pretty great story, right!? The next year or so was a gigantic bag of trail mix. Sweet, salty, and full of confusing and kinda gross raisins.
After our second first date, we sent texts back and forth and Jeff said some pretty cute things that made me swoon and say “awe!” (I’ve written a few down in some journals, I’ll have to update after we move and unpack) and I agreed to go out with him again. This time, I let him come pick me up. We got Jamba Juice (we both had the same favorite smoothie! Berry Lime Sublime!) and then headed to Guitar Center to mess around. We went in to the instrument room and started playing on the drums and guitars. He must’ve been real “impressed” with my skills, because he left almost immediately to use the bathroom. He was gone for a good 10 minutes. He came back and we went to look at the sheet music. Again, he left me to use the restroom; this time for a little longer. Eventually he came back and bought some guitar strings and we left. He apologized and asked if he could take me home. I was a little disappointed. I thought maybe he wasn’t interested and was just being polite by asking me out again. Maybe my mediocre musical abilities are not good enough for the mighty Jeff. But no, he explained to me that he was experiencing “bowel problems” and he wasn’t sure why. It hit him out of nowhere and he wasn’t sure he’d make it long before he needed to hit the pot again. I was laughing sooooo hard! He took me home and drove off pretty quickly. We are really good at this dating thing! Haha! First date he didn’t show up, second first date we didn’t sit together, and then this. We were off to a crappy start. 😉 [pun intended]
Despite his embarrassment, he did call again. We went on another date and I decided it was time to make a choice. I sat down with the boy I had been dating over the Summer and told him I didn’t think our relationship should continue. In all fairness, I had been feeling uncertain about where I wanted things to go with the other boy BEFORE I met Jeff. Anyway, I was interested in Jeff and I didn’t want to be leading two boys along. He understood and we were actually able to remain friends! So Jeff and I dated some more and I thought things were awesome. One day in September, I met him at the institute after his class. He was playing ping pong with some of our mutual friends (all girls) and when I walked in and greeted them and Jeff, the girls gave me such dirty looks and wouldn’t talk to me. I was confused, but blew it off. I later learned that Jeff had kind of been dating one of them. He really liked her and had taken her out a few times. He loved her personality, and shortly before we met he held her hand, which is all kinds of exciting for a girl! He said when he held her hand, he got a bad feeling and knew he couldn’t date her. The only problem was that he forgot to tell her. So when she saw us together, I am sure she thought I had “stolen” him away. I felt terrible and I chewed him out real good for not telling her he wasn’t interested. Yikes! He apologized and I decided he was still an ok guy and we kept on dating.
He met my family for reals not long after. The first time my sister Kat met him, he was snorting a spaghetti noodle through his nostrils. She watched him move the noodle in one nostril and out the other and was a little appalled. When he was gone, she said “You stopped dating Kolby for him? He’s so weird and Kolby was so nice. I really liked Kolby.” At this point, Jeff was not sister approved, but I didn’t care. (She did eventually grow to love him, don’t worry!)
We went out every week, sometimes more. We hiked, star gazed on the roof of the pool shed at his house, went to General Conference (after which we walked around my neighborhood “puddle jumping” and came home soaked. One of my favorite memories!), explored Temple Square, watched outdoor movies, went to institute activities and Halloween parties, made leaf piles, and had other crazy adventures. We spent a lot of nights just sitting in the car talking until 2 or 3 AM. Good thing my parents trusted me! I was falling for him.
We were having a blast together! And then one night in October, he took me on a hike to the water tower in East Layton. We climbed on top (somehow we made it up the ladder with blankets and pillows??) and star gazed. He showed me where he, Blake, and a girl he dated carved their names. Smooth, Jeff. Why’d you have to point that out!?! So we were chilling on the water tower wrapped up in blankets and he suddenly got really quiet. After a while he turned to me and said something about how he liked dating and going out with lots of girls because he had only been home from his mission for 15 months (again…real smooth). I wasn’t sure where he was going with this, but I was nervous. Is he about to tell me we’re getting “too serious?” That sucks! Then he said “But I find myself liking you more and more and I don’t really have a desire to date anyone else.” YES!!!! I win. We win! Obviously, I felt the same way. We walked home and I was giddy!
A few weeks later, the Saturday before my birthday, so Nov. 15 or 16th, maybe? we were out on another date. I have no idea what we did, but I do remember how the night ended. We were sitting on the couch in my parent’s living room chatting and enjoying each other. Again, he got real quiet. He looked at me for a while and then said “Bobbie-Jo, I’ve been thinking about you and us.” Again!?! Stay calm. “You make me really happy. … And I don’t know what it’s like to be in love, but I imagine this is it.” Just let that sit. Aaaahhh. 😀 I don’t even remember how I responded, but it must’ve been ok because he leaned in and gave me the sweetest, gentlest, and smallest little kiss…our first. It was a tender and beautiful moment.
Things went on all happy and stuff. We went to dinner for his Grandma’s birthday, we spent Thanksgiving with both families, and I was preparing to graduate from college. Life couldn’t have been better!
Then things started to get a little weird…
****We are getting ready to go camping (8/6/15). I planned to write more today, but I really need to shower. Sorry! Except not. I love cliff hangers!****
So I’ve been feeling a strong desire to write down the history of us (No pictures this time, sorry!). The finer details may be a little shady (it has been 7 ish years) and my journals (which aren’t that detailed anyhow) are in storage. So in honor of our failed first date this month, here is us! It’s a long story, but I love it (well…most of it)!
In November of 2007 my good friend Aaron married another good friend Keri. They moved into a basement apartment on Forest Ridge Dr. in Layton, UT. The owner of that home was on a mission in Chicago and her 21 year old son was holding down the fort. Aaron met him and almost immediately started trying to get us set up on a blind date. I was not terribly interested in blind dates at that point in my life and neither was he. He was still an awkward returned missionary and I was a 22 year old mega flirt.
Aaron kept on about how fun he was and how perfectly he matched my personality. I told my friend Marci about this “Jeff Hicken” I kept hearing about. He was in her singles ward at Weber State and she had good things to say. Another friend Barry found out (also in his ward) and as it turns out, they were best friends in elementary school. And then Jeff started hearing my name more and more, from Aaron, Marci, Barry, and other mutual friends, and he happened to mention my name to a girl he worked with at Tanner Clinic. That girl, Anne, went to high school with me. We were in show choir together and of course, she had good things to say about me. 😉 He was being bombarded by my name.
My reaction during this time was casual. Everyone I knew, knew Jeff and told me he was wonderful and hilarious and a great guy. Meh…I’ve heard it before.
Jeff’s reaction was this: “How come everyone I know also knows this girl?” And this: “She has a weird name. I don’t really want to date her. I’ve dated too many girls with weird names recently.”
The First First Date (August 2008)
Summer went by and I was dating someone else. I liked him, my family liked him, and it was going really well! We weren’t serious and we hadn’t had “the talk” to define our relationship. So in August when Aaron planned a double date and conveniently arranged for Jeff and I to both be there, it wasn’t a big deal. We had been hearing each other’s names for a while, so I was mildly curious but I didn’t expect it to amount to anything.
Sometime around midnight the day of the date, Aaron and Keri (remember, they lived in the basement apartment) woke up to the smoke alarm. Jeff was cooking chicken and burned it or something. They ran upstairs and as they chatted and laughed it came out that Jeff was going to Bear Lake with his singles ward. Aaron was like “Uh…you have a date tomorrow with Bobbie-Jo.” Oops. Jeff forgot about it. Nice one, huh? So he went to Bear Lake, and Aaron had a friend come down from Logan (maybe?) to be my date.
We had a BBQ in Jeff’s backyard. We swam in Jeff’s pool. We watched the teen boys in Jeff’s neighborhood film their own remake of the famous pool scene from “The Sandlot” in Jeff’s pool (don’t worry…we popped popcorn). I was fun and flirty and had a great time! I even gave the boy permission to call me (he didn’t). It was a wonderful night! The only thing missing on my first, first date with Jeff…was Jeff.
At Last, We Meet
So after our failed first date I was done with hearing about Jeff and Aaron was done pushing it. It was a fun night, but it was a little annoying that he ditched. Sounds like a winner, I thought. We tried. We failed. Whatever.
Since Marci had become one of my best friends (we met in 2005 and it was love at first sight for us), she invited me to hear her sing in church on the Sunday before the semester started. I wanted to, but I was so worried about running into the famous Jeff Hicken. I told her I would go, but she was not allowed to introduce us. I secretly wanted a glimpse of him, but that was it. I met her at the institute building on campus. We sat down to enjoy the meeting and she said she hadn’t seen him, so I was feeling pretty good. Until…Barry (remember Barry, my good friend and Jeff’s childhood best friend?!) saw me. He grabbed Jeff and they came and sat right behind us. I didn’t turn around, but I heard. As they sat, Marci noticed a new girl sitting alone, so we got up and moved a few rows up to sit by her. It might’ve seemed kinda rude, but whatever. I was relieved to have avoided Jeff and Barry. The meeting started, Marci sang beautifully, and we got up to leave after the prayer. Barry, sneaky, persistent, Barry immediately called my name “Bobbie-Jo! Come here, I want you to meet someone!” Marci stepped away, Barry stepped away, and Jeff and I stood there looking at each other. After hearing each other’s names for almost a year, this was finally it! The first words out of my mouth were “Welp…this is awkward.” His: “Yep.” This was followed by an entertaining 2 hour conversation in the parking lot, an exchange of phone numbers, and a date set up for the CES Fireside in September. I drove home thinking “well, he has a really fun personality and I think we’d have a great time together, but meh. He’s cute, but not dreamy.” I found out later he looked at me and thought “Hey, she is a really cute girl! I want to get to know her.” I wouldn’t say love at first sight, but he was interested, and I was polite.
The Second First Date
So he called me and we agreed to meet at the institute building for the fireside. He offered to pick me up, but I told him it was inconvenient for him to drive to West Point and meeting was just fine. I arrived, sent him a text to find out where he was sitting, and never heard back. I sat down and enjoyed the fireside by myself. Apparently, he didn’t hear his phone. We’re off to a great start, right!?! On the first first date, he ditched. On our second first date, we didn’t even sit together. So how did we end up together? This is how.
After the fireside, he saw my text and we met at the back of the gym for cookies. We immediately started goofing off and being silly. (I saw the boy I was dating nearby watching, and I felt a twinge of guilt. He knew I was on this date with Jeff and said it was fine, but still…sad) We drove to Jeff’s house on Forest Ridge Drive and we spent the rest of the evening listening to music on Youtube, making the most ridiculous faces (the kind where you stretch our your extra chin skin), discovering that neither of us wears matching socks and that we both had/have vintage ninja turtle bedding, watching Church History DVD’s, and then ended the night sharing our favorite scriptures and experiences with each other. And that was it. I remember writing in my journal “he’s like me, but a boy!” It was easy. It was comfortable and non-judgmental. We opened up so quickly and so easily. He was (and is) the most genuine and real person I have ever met. No need to impress or put on a show to make me like him. He was a “take me as I am” kind of guy and it was refreshing and comforting. I was hooked. He was hooked. And as much as I wish I could say we fell in love, got married, end of story, I can’t. This is not the end. Not even close.
Stay tuned (if you’re interested!)…