Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Celebrating 25 years from our first date

Carlton and Cathy- Attending Sundance in Park City
On February 10, 1990 I went on a blind date with Cathleen Nielsen.  What I probably would not have guessed at that time, is what a change for the better would happen in my life.  I was 24 years old, serving as the Elders Quorum President of the Rose Park Ninth Ward and attending the University of Utah.  We had a Valentines Dinner for Quorum members and their spouses/guest and when I announced to my counselors that I had intended to bring my mother, drew a rash of criticism and ridicule that I knew it was no longer an option.  I was a little gun shy after having another girl I thought I liked, indicate she had no interest in me.  I had resolved the fact that I was going to be single for a while, so I even purchased a large snow blower knowing I would be at my mom's home for a few years more!

A week or so prior, Marianne Jensen, who worked the front office in my brother Elliott's work, came up to me with a slip of paper that had a girl's name and phone number written on it.  Marianne had just had lunch with Cathy, because her husband worked in Cathy's office at the Church Office Building.  I decided to just give it a shot, what did I have to lose.  When I called, much to my surprise, she said sure.  She reported to me the other day, that I sounded a little monotone (ok, I do) and a lack of inflection in the old voice.   Despite what she thought could have been Ferris Buehler's teacher, she said yes.  As I drove out to Layton to pick her up, passing a lot of farm land at the time, thought, gee, this is the last time I'm going out with this girl, she lives too far away.

When I drove up, her father was working in the yard with her brother and had a chain saw.  Left a strong impression that I was not to mess with this girl.  She was cute, good form, if you know what I mean, and blue mascara.  Ok, I think it was trendy at the time.  Not quite sure what impression she had of me, but she did get in the car.  I enjoyed her candor, interest in me and as we returned to the Church, I put her right to work getting ready for the dinner.  She was in the kitchen working, when our Bishop's wife came up and confronted me and asked, "Who is that girl in the kitchen?" to which I replied, "Cathleen Nielsen, I think, I just met her 40 minutes ago".  Dixie Martinson then replied, "You're lying, you've been hiding her."  Well I wasn't, and 40 minutes on a first date and putting her to work was a good sign that she was committed to the gospel, if not to me!  We had a nice evening together and as I took her home, thought I needed to go out with her again.

A few days later it was Valentines Day.  I wanted to send her flowers, but wondered if that was too pushy after one date.  When I went to the florist, I struggled with the thought do I get her red roses, or is that too strong.  I found a small set of miniature pink roses.  I wrote her a note, spelled Cathy "Kathy", which still gets done on occasion by my family and had them delivered.  I called later that day or the next to ask her out and to see if she received the flowers.  Timing was perfect, the other guys in the scene had not sent anything, mine were nice but not to pushy and yes, I got a second date out of it.

Long story short, we were engaged six weeks later, I've made the trip to Layton many times, and I can't think of a better soul mate in my life, than Cathleen Nielsen Christensen.  Just a good reminder, that a little persecution and ridicule in one's life makes you do some of the things you should, but not might want to do!