Thursday, April 17, 2008

Story Corner #6


by Ryan
So we started dating a lot … Rather than document every step, I thought I would just compile a top 10 list of memories that I have from that time.

By the time Jessica finally came around, I was dating a few different girls on and off. My family began to joke about it because all of their names started with “J.” One of the other girls I was already dating happened to be named Jessie. I am horrible with names. I thought I would simplify matters by transitioning over to calling both of them Jess. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware that the Sherrills are very particular about their names. After trying out the new moniker on Jessica a few times and feeling like “this is really going to work out,” I was accosted by a 9 year old Bekah (same attention to detail, just a smaller body): “Jessica HATES being called Jess!” she bellowed. Jessica politely tried to soften her blow only to be met by Bekah’s continued insistence that “yes huh” she did hate the name and began citing instances when Jessica had said as much herself. Needless, to say I abandoned the Name Consolidation Effort and figured that based on Bekah’s passionate response I would be wise to return to using Jessica’s full legal given name.

Sam. Jessica has a younger brother Sam. He was 10-11 at the time we got married. He was a complete loose canon. He got very hyper, especially when guests came over. The Sherrills adopted California’s “3-Strikes” policy. In CA, if a criminal is convicted of a felony 3 times, he was automatically “out” (i.e. sent to jail) for life. At the Sherrill house, every time Sam would do something outrageous or crazy (i.e. yell, destroy a plant, eat a live squirrel, etc.) he would get a “strike”. Dorrie (Jessica’s mom) was typically the umpire “calling” the game for Sam. Throughout the afternoon/evening you would randomly hear chaos emanating from Sam’s general vicinity, which was followed shortly by Dorrie’s voice announcing “OK Sam … that’s strike 2!!” He was usually “out” by about 7:00pm, which meant he was in his room for the rest of the night.

On Sundays I would come over to Jessica’s family’s house a lot. We would usually go for a walk with whomever wanted to come because the list of acceptable Sunday activities is relatively short. We would always end up taking her dog with us. It was a dachshund. It was kind of a silly dog. For example, instead of laying like a normal dog, it would sprawl out on the floor like a teenage boy crashed out on his bed (i.e. on its belly with all its paws fully extended and sprawled). So “Heidi” would usually come on the walk too (unless Sam had already been sentenced to walking her in an effort to get him to expend some of his uber energy). Unfortunately for our walks, (and Sam’s too) Heidi’s little legs could only handle a few blocks before she would be dragging way behind. So the walks always ended up with someone having to turn back way early to give poor Heidi a break.

Shortly after deciding to get married, we began discussing our big plans. In the middle of one discussion Jessica blurted out in a semi-irritated voice “You know you have to buy me a ring … don’t you?” I quickly gathered that she wasn’t joking. I was horrified by the comment because it seemed so materialistic and greedy to me at the time. Of course I intended to buy her a ring! We had only been talking about marriage for a couple weeks by this point. Later, I came to find out that Jessica had previously progressed toward marriage only to be stifled by her boyfriend’s inability to actually go through with the purchase of a ring.

It is often said that when you are dating, you tend to hide your flaws because you are on your best behavior. To an extent, this is true. However some flaws are so mammoth and gaping that there is just no covering up those suckers. Such was my experience with my innate sense of misdirection. I have this gut feel for directions. I refer to it as “the force”. When I get a tentative question from Jessica as to whether I know where I am going, I like to assuage her concerns by announcing that I am driving “by the force” and thus don’t need any directions. My Force leads me the wrong way 90% of the time. It is only correct enough to make me second guess myself on those rare instances that it does in fact lead me in the correct direction. As we were dating in CA, I tried to take Jessica to the beach numerous times. This is about an hour and a half trip from lovely Tracy. We would always end up near the beach, but we only actually made it to the beach twice. We would literally unroll the windows and be able to hear the waves crashing or feel the sea mist in the air only to continue to make u-turns for the next hour never to find the beach. We would finally run out of time and have to just turn around and drive home, without ever even stepping out of the car. I really feel sorry for Jessica because of my namby-pamby sense of misdirection, but as my friend Kyle likes to say, “she knew what I was when she picked me up.”

… actually I am now realizing that this “top 10” is too much for me to write and you to read, so I will have to finish up with the next 5 next week.

23 comments:

Lauren said...

Yay! I loved it!


I just love that a 9 year old Bekah accosted you. Reason being...my husband was my little sister's Primary teacher when we began dating, (and all the way through to our engagement) and she DESPISED him because I was, in her mind, ignoring her to be with this schlep.


Poor Heidi's little legs.

So, how did you let the other girls down easily?

I love this Story Corner :D

gab said...

Hah! My kids are totally on the three-strikes system. And I have a very hyper Sam. This post made me laugh.

Christie said...

What is it about men and directions? Mine always tells me he is following the spirit. I always tell him we are lost. It doesn't usually end well for either of us.

rubberbandgirl said...

Glad to have you posting again Ryan.
My mom had a dachshund named Heidi, too. Weird.

Celia Fae said...

It looks like she likes that girl on the couch way better than you, Ryan. Try to get a little closer there.

Meg said...

Growing up in California and being a cop's daughter must have unconsiously afftected me...because I totaly use the three strikes system for bedtime. They can get a drink or "tell me something" but they have to take a strike for it.

I have even more respect for Jess (kidding...)- Jessica - knowing she has a brother that can eat a live squirrel.

Mark said...

Ryan
I think that driving by the force often leads us to enjoy the journey and not the destination.

Is this a Romney thing????

aric & jess said...

So I call Jessica, Jess all the time and have for a very long time. Sharing her name gives me permission to shorten it right? Or am I the fingernails on the chalkboard everytime I say "Jess"...I'm going to have to get to the bottom of this!

Ilene said...

At least your sense of direction did lead you to the jewelry store. That's what counts most.

Dan just invested in a GPS system for our car. I can't tell you how exciting it will be to go on road trips and KNOW that we will get to where we need to be. I like that kind of satellite Force being with me in the car. That, and it also tells you the distance to the next gas station so I can stop stressing over the tank being on empty and have Dan drive by a gas station while telling me, "We have another 100 miles before we REALLY run out of gas."

Pa Pa Jim said...

Jessica & Ryan.
I'd love to invite you to the The Sherrill Herald family blog. We have enjoyed yours & Jax so much! I'm trying to get my brothers & sister posting on it. Any ideas???

http://thesherrillherald.blogspot.com/

We look forward to your ideas & comments.

The Hansen Clan said...

Is that quote from Kyle, my Kyle? That explains a lot if that is what he says to everyone.

Hazen5 said...

I love it when husbands write the posts! Good job Ryan. Our house lives by the 3 strike rule too!

Bridget said...

Lovely post Ryan. It is fun to hear this stuff about your dating past and now that I kind of feel like I know the real yous during our couple hours of dinner that night. I feel like I can really picture all of this happening.

Carie said...

I'm glad story corner is back, I have missed it.

Tristan said...

Such a cute fun story! I can't wait for it to be concluded!

Laurie said...

Very fun stories Ryan.

Question: Is it possible that your "force" is actually the dark side at work?

Tom & Rachel said...

I love hearing people's stories of how everything began. Stuff like this is great to have written down too.

Jessica, I know Paige Jones. Does that sound familiar? She's married to Brent Jones and I don't know too much about her extended family other than that. But the name Carrie Skinner does sound somewhat familiar to me.

Hollyween said...

Okay. I understand the earlier 'Jess' confusion. But... now I'm worried that I called you Jess. I honestly can't remember.

Ryan, your entries are a lot of fun. And I love reading about how you guys met. My mom almost named me Heidi (like the little dog). I love those kinds of dogs. I had two and the stupid pound took them away. Oh wait... this isn't about me and MY dogs. Nevermind...

Can't wait to hear the next 5.

Ellie said...

Totally unrelated comment:
Have you tried lemon drops or lemon water for your nausea? They are really helping me for some reason. That and the phenergan and zofran.
I'm so happy we're pregnant twins! Now we can both complain together.

bloggingchristy said...

Wow you guys look so young in your picture!! Is that of you after your mission Ryan? You guys are so funny, we miss you!

Jess, we will see you guys again after I practice DDR alot so I can dance at your level!! JK we will see you at the reunion for sure!

Meridith said...

That's one old picture. I look like I just woke up from my Sunday nap. I'm glad I could be a part of the old Romney blog in some small way.

Penny said...

Love the story corner!

Oh, and I told Todd about the 3 strikes thing... WE LIKE IT!!

TexasTwinsTwice said...

Younger siblings add such a FUN element to the dating scene don't they!? I love these story segments! =)