Shauna and I begin dating.
Several days after the fascinating details recorded in the previous chapter, I was walking down the street with my usual jaunty gait when JoAnn Parker honked and waived at me as she drove by. From this action, I quite naturally concluded that she regretted breaking up with me and that she was quite madly in love with me. I, therefore, after a few days of working up the necessary nerve, asked her to go with me to a production of "The Merry Widow". She accepted, but from a certain coolness in her tone of voice, I concluded that the honk she had given me was not intended to convey all the meaning, or, at least, exactly the meaning, I had read into it. In fact, I rather gathered that she did want to see "The Merry Widow", but would have preferred to do so in someone else’s company.
I knew that if the date was as big a bust as our last one had been, that I would be depressed for at least a week--most likely longer--so I decided to take steps to shield myself against depression by getting a date with someone I could be excited about for the next night. The only such person who came readily to mind was Shauna Bowman. So accordingly, I called her and invited her to go with me to a production of "The Mikado" at the Promised Valley Playhouse. To my delight (and somewhat to my surprise), she accepted. Since this was Thursday night and our date was for Saturday, I was nervous that there would be no tickets left, so I dashed down to the box office.
"Do you have any tickets left for Saturday night?" I asked eagerly.
I breathed a sigh of relief and pocketed the tickets without even bothering to look at them. To this day, I am not sure whether that was a good thing or a bad, but it did result in a surprise--and not the kind we generally look forward to.
I had been correct in my assessment of the situation with JoAnn. The performance of "the Merry Widow" was delightful; the date was not. It became quickly apparent that JoAnn had accepted the date to (a) see "the Merry Widow" and (b) to make it clear to me that she most certainly and definitely did not desire a return engagement. At the end of the play, I suggested that we go to an ice cream parlor for a snack, to which she responded, Let’s not. It’s late and I’m tired. Let’s go home". Which, of course, we did.
I was somewhat depressed, but I was grateful, and even excited, that I had prepared myself against great depression by making the date with Shauna.
I found out later that I came very very close to an exceedingly bad case of double depression. Shauna had spent most of the day with Leroy Hannon, who had come all the way up from Texas to visit her. Just before our date, she decided that since he had come all that way that she really should spend the evening with him. She called over to my apartment to cancel our date, but, fortunately, I had already left.
She sent Leroy off to friends and was taking out her garbage, when she saw me clearing a spot in my car for her by transferring books and papers from the passenger seat to the trunk.
"Obviously, he isn’t anymore excited about this date than I am," she thought.
The date was exactly the opposite my date the night before. Although, I avoided the disaster of having the date actually canceled, the rest of the date was a series of disasters. But the overall date was, for me at least, delightful. The first problem was that Shauna assumed that when I had asked her to "The Mikado", that I meant the restaurant of that name and had, therefore, not eaten and was most hungry.
When we got to the theater I presented the tickets and we were shown to our seats, but we soon noticed that a couple kept staring intently at us. At first, I assumed that the girl was doubtlessly one of 100 girls--as mentioned earlier--I had previously dated and was staring at us, annoyed that I had found so attractive a replacement, but it became apparent that such was not the case, because the fellow was, if anything, staring more intently than the girl. I was relieved, therefore, when they left, but shortly, they returned accompanied by an usher.
"May I see your tickets?" he asked. When I produced them, he continued, "You will need to come with me." He conducted us down to the lobby, but I noticed as we walked out that the couple, with a look mixed with relief and triumph, seated themselves in what had been our seats.
"I’m afraid that your tickets are for the wrong night. These are worthless," the usher announced as we stepped into the lobby. Sure enough, a glance at the tickets showed that they were for Thursday night. I can only imagine that I was so excited about the need for tickets that the ticket person assumed I wanted them for that very night.
I was about to have us leave the theater, when Shauna said, "Absolutely not! You bought those tickets and didn’t use them. She marched up to the box office and voiced strong objection to the ticket person, who finally relented and had an usher conduct us to two vacant seats at the back of the theater.
I am not a real "Mikado" fan, but the performance was enjoyable.
Afterwards we went to Snelgrove’s for an ice cream. I didn’t care much for ice cream, so I ordered the smallest one on the menu and Shauna, although, I am sure she was famished, followed suit.
I had a marvelous time on our first date and promptly asked her for a second. Indeed, there followed a series of absolutely delightful dates.
Our third date took us to Layton to her cousin, Jennifer’s, wedding reception, which was held at Shauna’s grandparents Harris’s home. Of course, I met them. They were a delightful couple and association with them was to loom large, not only in our courtship, but also in our early married life. I also met her father, whose first words to me were, "Come by the house sometime and we can have a beer together."
Our 4th or 5th date was to Tremonton where we attended her cousin, Cami’s, missionary report. I enjoyed the report and I enjoyed being with Shauna on the way back, but both trips were frustrating. The trip up because she had brought a French girl friend and they sat together in the back seat and talked only with each other. That was bad enough, but to add to the misery of the moment, I got a ticket for having an expired safety inspection. (In my defense, I had actually taken it in for inspection, but the mechanic had not gotten to it.)
On the return trip, the French friend stayed in the back, but Shauna sat up front so we talked, but we drove back in a roaring blizzard, which dampened the experience considerably.