1. Where did you meet your husband?
In Mrs. White’s seventh grade English class. I was moved into the Gifted and Talented program (isn’t it funny to call it that?) after my first quarter of school. So, the first day of the second quarter of my seventh grade year, I went to a new room and sat in a new desk behind a new boy. The scary thing is that I still pretty much have the same haircut.
2. What was the first thing you said to your husband?
I don’t remember the first words, but we immediately started talking. (We both had a long stream of report cards that said things like, “Tiffany/Ryan is a bright student who shows great potential, but needs to control her/his talking in order to excel.”) There was truly an instant connection and we were fast friends. In fact, by the second day of the second quarter of my seventh grade year, I was moved by the teacher to the other side of the room.
3. Where was your first date?
We went miniature golfing at the 49th Street Galleria. Totally dorky.
4. Where was your first kiss?
I’m pretty sure it was that same night outside my parent’s house. Totally sweet.
5. Did you have a long or short engagement/courtship?
It was a very short courtship and engagement. We were married the summer before eighth grade. (Ha! I almost had a few of you convinced, eh?) I would say the courtship was somewhat long. We began dating when we were sixteen and married when we were twenty. (Which is like WAY older than eighth grade.) We were engaged for five months before the wedding.
6. Where did you get engaged?
Ryan called me one December afternoon at work and said, “Dave and Andrea are going to the mall. Do you want to go when you get off?” He came and picked me up and we drove to Fashion Place Mall. When we got there, we met up with Dave and Andrea. They suggested we go get our pictures taken with Santa, just for fun. So, we got in the long line and slowly made our way to the North Pole. Dave and Andrea had their picture taken first and took a moment on Santa’s knee to tell him what they wanted for Christmas. I remember that Ryan kept coughing and I was asking him if he was OK. I didn’t catch on that it was his nervous cough.
When it was our turn, I sat on Santa’s knee and Ryan knelt beside me. We snapped a picture and Santa said, “What do you want for Christmas?”
I said, “A ring.”
Santa reached into his coat and pulled out a little velvet box and opened it up to reveal my diamond ring. I was in shock. Apparently, Ryan was saying, “Tiffany, will you marry me?” at this time, but I was too busy being amazed and confused. I was like, “Listen, Santa, I don’t know who you think you are, but I’m here with my boyfriend.”
7. Where did you get married?
Salt Lake Temple, Salt Lake City, UT on April 11, 1997
8. How did the reception go?
Honestly, it was not my favorite part. It was cold, and the overwhelming crowd was trying to squish inside what turned out to be a too-small reception center. My parents got there late for the pictures because they had forgotten my wedding dress and had to go back for it. I never had any of the food. There was somewhat of a somber tone, because Ryan’s dad had recently passed away and his mom was still very fragile. There was also some tension because my parents hadn’t originally been too keen on us getting married in the first place. They were very nice and supportive once we were engaged, but we knew they were worried. Sometimes I want a wedding do-over.
9. How was the honeymoon?
It was great. We left the reception, drove directly to McDonald’s for some cheeseburgers (we were starving), then went to our new apartment for the night where we counted the money people shoved in Ryan’s pockets and then passed out from complete exhaustion. The next morning we flew to San Francisco for a few days and then spent a few more days in Park City.