Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Story of Mar & Bryce - The Beginning

Tuesday February 2, 2010

I have found the love of my life! Her name is Maria del Mar Larios. Mar for short. She is everything I ever dreamed of, all I ever wanted, and more. We have spent almost every day together for the last 6 ½ months. Time has flown by so quickly yet it feels like I’ve known her my whole life. This is our story:

On June 1st of last year I started working at a new branch as a Personal banker. It wasn’t long before Mar caught my attention. I thought, and still do think, she was the most beautiful girl in the world. Not only was she beautiful but she was smart, funny, witty, and she laughed at all my jokes. We started flirting at work a lot. Her background is that she was born in Spain and raised in El Salvador so a couple of times I called her Espanatrucha. I used the US beating Spain in soccer as an excuse to get her number off of the work directory and text her to give her a hard time. At the end of the text I signed it as “-Bryce, your coworker” partly as a joke and partly because I didn’t want to take the chance she knew any other Bryces. I was super happy she didn’t get creeped out that I randomly had her number. One time a few of the people that worked at the branch went out to eat sushi after work. I made sure she went. I made sure I was sitting next to her. And I made sure I was the one giving her a ride home. One time on my day off I needed to go to the bank for something so I went through the drive-up and she was the one working at the window. I still remember how beautiful she looked that day. Before I drove away I told her she was my favorite. I wanted her to know that I liked her. I tried to take any opportunity I could to talk to her or spend time with her. This whole time, Mar was starting to like me. She says she had to keep denying it to herself that she actually liked me.

It wasn’t long before I fell in love with her smile and the sound of her laughter and I hadn’t even asked her out yet. A month after I had met Mar I ended up taking a road trip to Seattle to visit my brother and sister-in-law, Troy and Luna. The whole trip all I could think about was Mar. Part of the road trip involved driving up the coast of California. At one stop I made at the beach I ended up gathering some tiny smooth stones that I ended up making into a gift for her during my trip. The whole trip I just kept telling myself that when I got home I needed to ask her out for the weekend following my return. I even made a list of things I needed to do on my phone and ‘Ask(ing) Maria out’ was the most important thing I had to do. One time on the trip, I was riding in the back of Troy and Luna’s car and Luna noticed I was a bit quiet and that I was thinking about something. Luna asked what was on my mind. I said, “A girl.” She asked “What’s her name?” I said, “Maria”(at that point she still hadn’t even told me that she goes by Mar outside of work). For the rest of the car ride Troy and Luna were ribbing me with comments like, “Oooo…Bryce and Maria.” I just smiled. I missed this girl and I hardly knew her. I later found out she was missing me too. She said, “I didn’t even know you and I missed you. I thought, ‘It wasn’t fair.’”

When I got back it took me all week to build up the nerve to ask her out. I was so scared she might say no and I didn’t want to mess it up. On Friday of that week I knew I had to man up and ask her out. I got ready to go home at the end of the day and waited at my desk for a few minutes for her to be finished and walk by. I told her I had brought her something from Seattle. I gave her the gift I had made with the stones and some cool chopsticks I had bought at a shop in Seattle. I kept talking to her and mumbling. She had to have known I was going to ask her out. I was SO scared. I chickened out. I didn’t ask her out. I had the set up perfectly and I didn’t take it. I had asked her what she had planned for the weekend. She didn’t have anything planned. I gave her the chopsticks and mentioned something about going out to eat again and that it would be cool. She agreed. But I didn’t do it. As she walked away and out the door I felt like the biggest pansie in the world. I resolved I would go home and call her and ask her out. So I went home and called her. She didn’t answer. I told her to call me back on the message. She called me back. When I answered she said she liked the gifts and thought they were really cute. I told her I had forgot to tell her something while we were talking. She said, “Oh, what was that?” I said, “I think you should go to dinner with me this weekend.” She paused. She paused for the longest second in the history of my life. Then she said, “Ok.” I was ecstatic! We made plans for me to pick her up the next day and go to dinner.

I had asked her out! She said yes!! Well, she said “Ok” but I was ok with “Ok.” Now I had to figure out what to do and where to go. I wanted to do something original. I wanted to do something fun. I really, really wanted her to like me. That Saturday was July 11th 2009. I will never forget it. When I figured out what we were going to do I texted her to let her know to wear shoes other than high heels. I didn’t tell her what we were going to be doing. I’m sure she was curious. She texted me back and said she would meet me at the restaurant. I was a little confused. She then called me and told me that she didn’t want to have to tell her parents she was going on a date and so her dad was going to drop her off at a “birthday party for a co-worker.” She wanted the date and everything to go perfect but she wasn’t quite ready to tell her parents yet. So, her dad dropped her off at the restaurant birthday gift in hand and all. She was embarrassed that not telling her parents turned into something so elaborate but I thought it was ridiculously cute. I decided we would meet and eat at this restaurant called Tepanyaki where they cook the food in front of you with fire and tricks with knives and such. The food was great and our conversations were better. She looked so beautiful. Even a lady at the restaurant told her she looked adorable. I couldn’t have agreed more.

After dinner we went out to the Great Salt Lake. There is a spot right before you take the exit to go to Tooele where there is a big rock right by the beach. I thought it would be cool if we went out there and climbed the rock, watched the waves, and talked for a while. There were a couple of things I didn’t plan on happening though. For one, I had no idea there were going to be a million gnats everywhere. When I say a million I think I may be underestimating the amount of gnats there were. Another thing I didn’t think about is that Mar might be afraid of heights, which she is. Luckily, she trusted me enough to let me help her climb the rock. Also, once we got to the rock there were no gnats. There were even less once we got to the top. Mar still can’t believe she let me convince her to climb the rock. She says in any other circumstance there is no way she would have.

We got to the top of the rock, sat down, and started talking. We talked about a lot of different things while on the rock, we talked mostly about our families and background though. I remember strangely feeling like I could talk to her about anything. We both really opened up when talking about our families. It was crazy how comfortable it felt being with her. We stayed on the top of the rock and watched the sunset. I knew she was a big fan of the ocean and the beach, hence why I made that gift for her. We don’t have that in Utah so I tried to take her to the closest thing I could think of. We both had a really good time and the sunset was beautiful. Interestingly, no one else was on the rock. I have driven by before and after and in the summer there are always people up there. It was a cool moment.

After that I decided we needed to go to 7-ll and get some free slurpees. It was, after all, July 11th(7/11) and the day that 7-11 gives free slurpees out to everyone. We went and got some slurpees and then I decided to go on a drive with her and continue talking. We drove around the outside of the whole Salt Lake Valley. We started at the in Salt Lake City, went up to the base of the mountains on the east of the City, followed them down to Draper and then went out west of the valley out by Kennecott. We followed the road by Kennecott all the way north until we came close to the Great Salt Lake again. It was a beautiful drive, we saw the lights of the city and the night was clear and allowed us to see the stars.

After the drive it was starting to get late so I took her home. I was super happy. The date had gone great and I liked her even more after getting to know her.

The rest, as they say, is history.