May 3, 2011

Dearest E.,

We survived graduation! The past couple of weeks have been so stressful for me. The graduation party on Sunday was a huge success. We had family gather together that hadn't been together for years. It was wonderful to be supported by so many family members both near enough to visit and those too far to travel. I thought once we got through graduation life would slow down for a while. Boy was I wrong. This week we have a family event planned almost every night. One of my favorites this week is our annual Cinco de Mayo celebration.

When your dad first celebrated Cinco de Mayo with us he thought we were nuts. After all why were a bunch of non-Hispanic, Mormons throwing a party to celebrate Mexico's independence? I don't remember the year we started are Cinco de Mayo party but I do know that it started because of a scouts badge. We had so much fun at our inaugural event and really like any excuse to party. So it became a family tradition. So how did a Mexican from Texas meet and fall in love with this crazy Utah girl?

It all started at Sears. Well kind of. I was working at Sears on their In-Store Marketing team. One of my main job requirements was putting up the sale signs on merchandise prior to the store opening. Often Sears had a Saturday only specials. For whatever reason our manager preferred the Saturday ad be place on Friday night after the store closed. On Saturday my friends from Sears and I would often hang out after Friday night ads. A favorite place to gather was Denny's but the night manager was getting tired of us so we were looking for a new place.

That new gathering place happened to be a hobby shop called Hastuer's Games and Hobbies. My coworker's boyfriend was into Dungeons and Dragons. And he had heard of a gamemaster with openings in Friday night campaigns. Since it was less than five blocks away from work, we started gathering there. It turns out your dad was also spending far too much time hanging around Hastuer's.

We both remember the first night we met clearly. It was February 13, 2004 and the Valentine's Day ad specials had forced us to stay later then usual. The boys were already hours into the game. They were battling a great troll and expected it would take most of the night to complete. I didn't play in the campaign, instead I sat and watched my friends yell at their dice and pretend they didn't know the GM was cheating in his covered roll box. Perhaps love was in the air because my attention was immediately drawn to a quiet new member to the table.

He was sitting directly across from me. His black hair kept falling into his face as he leaned over the table. He subconsciously brushed it back and I saw his warm brown eyes glance in my direction. I knew then that I had to get to know him better. I was mesmerized. I stared at him throughout the night. He claims I followed his every move from table to register for drinks and back. My friends teased me about drooling on the table the next day. After a while he went outside for a smoke and like a sick puppy dog I followed him out.

I was nervous but determined to have a conversation with him. In desperation I asked him for a smoke. (I had smoked in high school and college but had quit about a year prior.) I didn't know he smoked Camel wides and I was in for quite the shock at my first inhale. He laughed at my attempts to remain cool while gasping for air and teased me about staring so intently. Shortly after our conversation I had to leave for the night. I was working two jobs and had to be up early for my Saturday morning job. My friends took care of the rest for me.

My friends chatted with "Tweety" the name he gave us and discovered they had a few mutual friends. After some coaxing they convinced him to join us on Sunday for another game. It was a good thing my coworker decided to play matchmaker. They arranged to meet again and soon he was part of our group. And the rest is history.

With Love,

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