Friday, March 1, 2013

That Little Green Monster Called Jealousy

*  I'm not a jealous person typically, I swear, but based on this story you may never know it.

I arrived at college at 17, alone, 4 hours from the nearest relative or known acquaintance and without a car to get me to them.  The Saturday before the semester started, my brother ceremoniously toured me round the campus now known as Brigham Young University-Idaho, back then it was called Rick's College, afterwards he left me with the promise that I would be fine. 

Almost immediately I met and made lifetime friends.  And the next day, I happened upon the man I would marry.  Although the journey was not so simplistic as all that.  But back to the gist of my story.  BYU-Idaho is the consummate outdoorsman or outdoorswoman location.  It is filled with geological wonders including a cold desert, learned this term through my field biology class thanks Tate Carter, world's best Professor - (still a facebook friend), Sand Dunes and mountains.  Most of the fun you have in college here will be self made creative fun involving the great outdoors and a great capacity for mischief.  As you can imagine I excelled in this environment. 

On Day 2, I met Travis and we started a courtship.  I had been to the Civil Defense caves, sometimes called the Ice Caves but those are actually different - most just don't know it.  One particular night Travis was calling to ask if I wanted to go there with him.  The catch: although we were dating we were not dating exclusively and this other girl was asking him and his roommates to take her and her friends.  Because we were nigh unto exclusivity and I think he feared the wrath I might bestow, he called to give me the option to go with assuming I wouldn't be able to go with such late notice.

And like any girl worrying that someone was in my territory, I jumped at the right to stake my claim. Travis would be by to pick me up in less than two minutes.  He lived in the building right behind mine. This is how I ended up in this place (below), at night - close to 10pm (I don't believe I ever visited this place in daylight hours despite hundreds of visits) in shorts, flip flops and a t-shirt (okay maybe it was a tank top - I can't really remember).  Note the rocky entrance, yeah this is the biggest space probably throughout the whole place.  There is no clear path, but lots of tunnels that circle back on one another and lead you back to the entrance, sometimes not depending how adventurous and small you are.

As you can imagine those rocks are sharp, a lot of time is spent crawling and slithering around,   likewise at night gives an extra dimension of challenge and Rexburg is next to never warm and this cave was even cooler than the outdoor night temperature.  This particular night we had far fewer flashlights than people and so I largely wondered through in the dark tripping and feeling my way along.  I ended up with cuts and scraps all over my improperly outfitted self.

But I remembered the effort at being a good sport and not complaining, pretending a proper mix of athleticism and competence, but not above needing help at just the "right" moments.  I remember being purposefully cheerful and the life of the group (read fun, witty) despite hating most of those moments in that cave that night because I had been having fun with friends before Travis called.  Having my skin shredded by the unforgiving surface of a dark cave was no walk in the park.  But alas we finished and headed back to our homes.  I don't remember the way the night ended, probably something as common place as making out in his truck or a petty fight over my jealousy and actual disinterest in the evening's activities. 

Regardless this place holds a dozen very strong memories.  So as I assembled a list of things to do and see while at BYU-Idaho for a friend who will be attending in the fall, I was reminded of this one.  Almost fourteen years later, I have to smile recalling it.  Because jealously really is an ugly emotion and most often friend to no one.  I wonder if Travis even remembers this night and what he would remember.  Despite it not being my best and brightest moment, I still hold it in my heart with fondness, because that experience among a million others has built this rock solid marriage of mine, that I wouldn't trade for anything in this world or any other.

1 comment:

Alisa said...

I can't think of a better part of the country than the Rexburg area to made such memories. Wonderful post, Mary.