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How I Met Brandon

The following is the story of how we met. We wrote this up together a little over a year ago. I'd be interested to hear your stories, not necessarily about how you met your husband but any significant story in your life.


Months before I met Alicia, I was an intern at the Hu Hu Kam Memorial Hospital in Sacaton, AZ as a fourth-year Optometry student. As the holidays approached, I went home to visit my family in Centerville. Upon returning home, I was reunited with some friends in the Centerville ward. My friend Adam invited me to attend a party he was throwing for New Years’ at his parents’ house in Farmington. So after visiting with my extended family in Salt Lake, I arrived at his house around ten. I pulled a chair up to the table where some of the guests were playing cards and eating desserts.


I had just found a beautiful apartment and moved to Centerville in August. It was close to Davis High School where I work and it just felt like the right place to live. My first Sunday in Centerville, I attended the ward that Brandon had attended that summer. It was my first and his last Sunday in that ward; we just barely missed each other. Coincidently (because this rarely happens), I made some comments in Sunday school that caused a little stir and Brandon remembers me but I did not meet him that day.
Some months passed and I had started to feel uninterested in attending the ward activities and my dad reminded me that New Years’ was coming up and it should be a priority to participate in a party where I might meet some people. I had heard that my friend Adam was throwing a party at his parents’ house and I decided to go. I probably arrived around nine.
It was a very cold evening and I was wearing black sling-backs and no socks. I thought I would slip on my way into the house. I said a little prayer in my car to give me the courage to attend the party and make some friends. I have always been a little shy in larger groups, especially groups where I didn’t know many people. The thought occurred to me that for years my dad had said, “Just remember, you could walk into a party one day and the man of your dreams could be sitting across the table.” I felt my stomach leap into my throat and I went inside. I didn’t recognize anyone that I really knew, so I pulled up a chair where some of the guests were playing cards and sat down.
Everyone was acting pretty silly and there was only one man that really stood out. He was tall and lean and had very dark, black hair. I was really impressed by his deep voice and his good manners. He seemed very sincere to me because he would ask questions that centered on the person he was talking to and he actually listened to his or her response. He was not self-centered like so many others I had met at similar activities. And he seemed content to talk to whomever he was visiting with at the time. I knew that if he was new to the ward, I would have to act very quickly. And so I did.
I didn’t talk to Brandon much, but I knew that was his name because I heard someone call him that. But I just made sure that by the end of the evening I had introduced myself and said something complimentary. My dad taught me that. Two nights later, I called Adam and asked for his friend Brandon’s phone number.


Back in Arizona, about 10 days after the party, I had just gotten off work that evening and was reading in my bedroom when my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but answered it because it was an 801 area code. I wish we could’ve recorded that conversation. It started like this: “Hi is this Brandon? Brandon Walters that was at Adam’s party? Are you dating anyone? Not because I am calling to ask if I can be your girlfriend, but because I wanted to get to know you.” Or something like that. Alicia asked if I remembered her. I remembered she had shoulder-length, brunette hair and attractive, blue eyes and we had talked at the party. I thought she had been on a date at Adam’s party. We talked for about an hour and a half about our families and introductions. I remember saying to her specifically, “It was great talking to you, Alicia, please call me back anytime.”
The next day Alicia sent me a text message that read: “It was great talking to you” and it included her E-mail address. I didn’t know how to spell her name so I spelled it Alesia. I sent her some pictures of my service mission to El Salvador. We E-mailed and talked on the phone through February. I was impressed with Alicia because she was pleasant to talk to and seemed to be able to carry on a good conversation that wasn’t forced. I was surprised at how long we could talk and how much I enjoyed it. I felt comfortable and at ease talking to her. I could tell that she was very passionate about teaching and education and had some strong opinions. I remember Alicia talking about her preparation for the GRE and how challenging Math was to her.
It was President’s Day weekend and I decided to come home. I was interested to meet Alicia in person again so I called and asked her if she would go on a date that weekend. She said it was a great idea and suggested that we go to Antelope Island and try to cook a new recipe that her friend Ashley had given her. I was impressed that after suggesting that we go on a date, Alicia came up with the plans and that she was willing to cook.
When Alicia gave me her address, I was surprised at how close it was to my mother’s house. I could see her apartment outside my bedroom window across the field. I showed up and she had actually fallen asleep and was surprised that I was on time. Her hair was still wet from the shower and she told me, “I need to dry my hair but have a seat and eat a cookie.” When her hair was dry, Alicia showed me her apartment. I liked the pictures she had taken of her family and the oil paintings she had done herself. I thought she was more beautiful meeting her again and was excited to be with her. The sunset was beautiful and we actually saw several buffalo. Alicia said that she had never seen actual buffalo, although she had gone to Antelope Island many times. I wanted to see her again.


The following Monday after Antelope Island, Brandon moved to San Diego to start a new rotation at the Naval Hospital. We continued to talk on the phone. Around mid-March, I pointed out that I have really wanted to return to Sea World but that I had no one to go with. My mom taught me that one. Brandon thought it was a good idea and so I bought a ticket. On the plane to Long Beach, CA I didn’t know what I had been thinking. I wondered, “How did I get here?” I wasn’t sure if Brandon really wanted me to come. I just know that it was so fun to see him pull up in his Nissan and pick me up at the airport. That weekend, I stayed overnight at his former Branch President’s house. We visited Brandon’s Optometry school, the fireworks at DownTown Disney, The Hotel Del Coronado, and Sea World. My favorite activity was going to the San Diego Symphony for a St. Patrck’s Day concert. As I was getting ready to go back home, I wasn’t sure that Brandon would want to date me because he had another year planned for residency and it wasn’t likely at the time that he would complete it in Utah.


I had decided to apply for an additional year of training as a resident. At the time Alicia visited me in San Diego, I had already interviewed at three different locations, none of which included Utah. As it turned out, there was an opening at the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake and I decided to accept it. The more I thought about this turn of events, the more sense it made that I belonged back in Utah and that the Lord had a hand in this opportunity to pursue my relationship with Alicia.


I was shocked! I remember getting a phone call from Brandon while I was visiting my parent’s house. My mom was in the living room on the couch and listening in on my conversation. When I repeated the words, “You are going to be doing your residency in Salt Lake?!” my mom’s eyes met mine and we both had a huge smile on our faces. We knew.

1 comment:

Raquel said...

That is just the cutest story in the world! I read it before when you got engaged, but its nice to read these stories more than once. Too cute!