This is the fourth part of Beauty and the Beast: The Linda and Patrick Story. On the main blog, there is a list of all the chapters if you need to get caught up.
This is how clueless I am:
- Linda started coming home more often from APU.
- She would talk to me for hours in the church parking lot. Very often, it would be pretty close to 3pm before we'd leave each other.
- Other guys, seeing that we were getting close started asking her out...but I didn't.
In hindsight, I'm pretty sure a girl coming home more often from a college teeming with good lookin' Christian dudes and talking with you for 2-3 hours in a church parking lot (no doubt hungry hint hint Patrick) means you should ask her out. I'm going to have to teach that rule to my boys, because I sure missed out on that logic.
I don't even remember what we talked about. Was I charming? Not sure, but we went on and on like that, showing both Linda's patience and my cluelessness. It must have been pretty close to four months (Jan thru Apr).
Then I hatched the sweetest plan. See our church at the time decided to join APU during Spring Break in a week long missions trip to Mexicali. So of course, Linda would go right? Every APU student goes. Here's the conversation we had a couple of weeks before the trip:
Me: So, I'm going with the church on that APU Missions trip to Mexicali.
Linda: Cool. [All sheepish and cute.]
Me: So, I'll see you there? [I'm thinking man am I smart to have signed up for this thing, I'll see her there and we can flirt with each other...oh and serve people too.]
Linda: Um no I'm not going.
Me: Huh? [It suddenly dawned on me that not all 3000 students were going.]
Yeah, just call me clueless in the parking lot. Linda did say she would go if there was still a spot for her. I quickly told her I would call the Youth Pastor, who was heading the whole thing up, and get her in. Her spot secured I looked forward to the trip.
The trip was perfect. We went down there to camp out for a week and adopt a little town (Peligro which means Danger) and minister to the kids. We watched each other minister; her doing VBS and me playing soccer with the kids. I pulled out all the stops on this one...(single dudes take notes):
- I worked it out so we sat next to each other on the 16 hour round trip bus ride to and from Mexicali (all except a small portion on the way back when we told other people that we liked each other...and of course they told us...so Jr. High!)
- I made sure to fall asleep holding a baby during one of our lunch breaks.
- We flagrantly flirted with each other, we were often found giving back rubs or just talking and giggling, even though there was a complete moratorium on flirting (which of course makes everyone want to flirt more!)
- I won over her mother by making her laugh. When she picked Linda up, at the end of the trip, I had my arms full of stuff so I waved at her good-bye...with my foot. It worked!
I think that was about the time I finally got that she might actually like me. That week, I called her and asked her out for a date. I went all out...Omelets, made by me, at my house (I still lived with my parents, don't forget I was 18).
A few dates later (May 3, 1990), we kissed...I know we hadn't even DTR'd (Defined the Relationship) yet! If you think of that Brady Bunch episode, where someone gets kissed and there are fireworks, it was like that...but a bazillion times more awesome. It still is now!
About a month later (June 1, 1990), we DTR'd. Here's how it went (we were out in the car outside her parents house...every once in a while her dad would flip on the bright Alcatraz driveway light to get Linda to come inside):
Me: Hey Linda? [Man I am smooth...like I practiced it a million times in front of the mirror!]
Linda: Yes [Still sheepish and oh so cute!]
Me: Wanna get hitched [Wait that's not what I practiced!]
Me: You know...go steady, be my girl, become an item...exclusive? [Nice recovery Zalamea]
Linda: [Long pause...I'm sure because she was like who is this guy?] Yes.
Me: Did you just say, "Yes"?
And that was it...she was mine. For the first time in my life a girl, THE most beautiful and captivating girl in the world, wanted to be mine. I can't tell you how elated I was that night and still am to this day. Linda and I were made for each other, I sincerely believe that with all my heart. I am so glad that God brought us together and look forward every day to living life in complete unison with her.
That concludes Part IV of BatB. In the next installment we see each other every day the summer of 1990 and I drop the bomb on Linda...I'm going to Bible college...oh and we got chased by a Park Ranger on my ATV...