IV. Shauna and I resume our dating where we left off--with an exception.
After Shauna passed her test, I was thrilled, of course, to be able to start dating her again. But I was also thrilled to be able to start dating JoAnn Parker again. I had dated JoAnn for over six months before she broke it off, which was shortly before I met Shauna. She had the advantage of being a returned German missionary. (Shauna had gone to France-Belgium on her mission.) And although, we never actually spoke German on our dates, I could visualize us sitting together, blissfully reading Schiller and helping our children recite "Das Lied von der Glocke". On the other hand, I couldn’t imagine Shauna getting very excited about Schiller and I was certainly not likely to get excited about Voltaire. But there were other things. The fact is, I loved being with each one. I loved Shauna’s laugh and cheery enthusiasm about so many things, but with JoAnn, well, there was always Schiller.
My life settled into a fairly predictable routine. I dated each girl twice a week--once during the week--a sort of quick, informal date-- and once on the week-end, in a more conventional, formal date--usually, a movie or a dinner.
I came to feel more and more sneaky about the whole thing. Oh, I made it clear that I was dating others, but that was the problem, I never had the courage to tell either of them that "others" was really "another". The once-only-on-the-week-end thing was tough. I implied to both girls that it was a sort of code--rather like the "Code of the Woosters", only the "Code of the Gees" that until you were engaged you never took a girl out more than once on a week-end.
For Thanksgiving I went to visit my sister, Loni, in Rexburg, but, I also visited JoAnn at her parents’ home in St. Anthony and met her parents. She came down and met Loni, Allen, and their children. We had a wonderful time together and by the time I was on my way back to Salt Lake on Sunday night, I was sure that I going to marry JoAnn.
But once back, my certainty began to evaporate. I was just so strongly attracted to Shauna that as soon as I talked with her, I fell right back into the old dating pattern.
Most worrisome was the impending problem of company Christmas parties. Both girls had asked me before Thanksgiving to go with her to hers, and I had tentatively agreed, but was nervous. What if they were on the same night? I was sweating bullets until JoAnn said hers was on the Saturday before Christmas. I pressed Shauna and breathed a sigh of relief when she gave the date, which was the Friday before Christmas. At that point I positively promised each that I would go with her. I simply couldn’t believe my good luck. Unfortunately, what I failed to reckon with was the fact that Shauna was as poor with dates as she had been with math (before I tutored her, naturally). In a sense, the problem of the two cans of orange juice had raised its head again.
A couple of days before the party, she announced that she had gotten the date wrong. It was actually on Saturday. I felt terrible, but I had to tell her that I simply could not go. What was worse, was that the date with JoAnn did not go well at all. I began to sense the same sort of coolness that I had sensed before we broke up with me at the end of the summer. I found myself wishing that I could have gone with Shauna to her party.