Our Love Story
by Kaey Gee
I. How I Met Shauna
I was 34 years old. I had dated over 100 different girls through a long, but singularly unillustrious dating career.
I was sitting in my apartment on D street when the phone rang.
"Hello," a pleasant female voice said. "This is Shauna Bowman. I don’t know you and you don’t know me, but Pat Knaus gave me your name and said you might be willing to come to a swimming party."
"I love swimming, " I responded enthusiastically--a true statement, made more so by the fact that I had just recently learned to do it, and even more so by the fact that the female voice at the other end of the line was very alluring. "Where and when?’
"Well, my folks have a swimming pool, but we are not going to hold our party there. Instead, a friend of my folks is coming to our house and we are going to hers. It is this Saturday night. Can you come? I need to know because if you can, you have a food assignment."
I agreed after a few more questions that I would come.
"Then you need to bring two small cans of frozen orange juice."
"What if I bring one large can?"
"Absolutely not. It must be two small cans."
I agreed to come--bringing two small cans of frozen orange juice, and then promptly called Pat Knaus, a friend with whom I danced almost every week at the Thursday night LDS dances at the Terrace Ballroom. The whole thing sounded terribly fishy. Why go into a long explanation about the game of musical swimming pools? And why insist on two 6 oz cans of orange juice rather than one 12 oz. can? Of course, I know the answers now. The first was due to the fact that Saturday night was the weekly drinking party at her parents’ home. The second was answered by the fact that 6+6 = 12 was a bit of advanced mathematics about which Shauna did not care to give a great deal of thought--a fact that was to play a most important part in our courtship in just a few weeks.
But, of course, I didn’t know any of that at the time, so I called Pat Knaus, who assured me that Shauna--and the party--were on the up and up.
So accordingly, Saturday night found me wending my way--slowly, as Shauna is fond of pointing out--down a street in Sandy, looking for the proper address. When I found it, I pulled up and the car which had been following me down the street pulled in behind me. Three girls tumbled out and the driver, a short girl of very attractive figure and even more fetching smile, approached me.
"You must be Merrill," she said, revealing a row of perfect teeth behind that smile. "I’m Shauna. Did you bring the two cans?"
Assuring her that I had indeed performed my part, we went into the party. I very much enjoyed that party. Pat Knaus was there, but she was much too busy flirting with John______, a handsome MD doing residency, to spend much time with me. Becky Armstrong, an old flame of mine, was there and we spent some time together. Sherry Sieverts, a good friend of Shauna’s, spent much time extolling the virtues of her friend. So I decided to try to get to know her personally, but with very little success. I did get to speak briefly with her by offering to dry the dishes she was washing. But having done that she was off on some other task, making sure that everything was in order--a pattern that has not much changed in the intervening thirty years.
I was one of two--both boys--who actually did some swimming. Shauna, later made much of the fact that I wore my shoes and black socks out to the pool, but not having brought any red socks or other swimming-appropriate gear, I had no choice.
Since there was a Stake dance in my stake that same night, I left the party early. I rather hoped that JoAnn Parker--the girl I had been dating all summer--would be there. On our last date she had made it clear that she did not wish to date me anymore, but I thought that meeting her at the dance might be a way to rekindle the romance, but, as I headed for the dance, I realized that the likelihood that JoAnn, who hated to dance, would be there was tiny. So I went straight home.
The next day, I penned a "thank you" to Shauna for inviting me to her party, little expecting that I would ever see her again--a feeling I’m sure she shared, the only thing about me that she could even remember being my black socks.