November 7th, 2008 – Eric first saw Jentry Ann Taylor at a bonfire in Mesa, AZ escorted by Barry Brown… Eric thought Jen and Barry were dating, and just thought Jen was hot. A couple hours later, they rendezvoused at Barry’s house and watched The Office, and Eric quickly learned that Barry and Jen were 1st cousins.
December 2008 – After talking himself out of it several times, Eric finally took Jen on a date… It was an incredibly awkward night. Went to PF Changs, and luckily Eric knew the waiter so there was a little conversation over dinner. (Unfortunately, most of the conversations were between Eric and the waiter, not Eric and Jen). Then they went to the mall and picked a couple Christmas angels off the tree, and had fun giving a few kids a tight Christmas. Total words exchanged in those 3-4 hours = probably in the low hundreds.
NOTE: Post-date, Eric told his mother and sister, Angie, that the date was way awkward, BUT that it was surprisingly awesome for some reason and could see himself taking her out again… This marked the beginning for Eric. (Not Jen)
January 2009 - March 2009 – Barry Brown (Jen’s 1st cousin) & Cole Taylor (Jen’s older brother) move into Eric’s house in Mesa, AZ. Jen hangs out a lot at the HBH (aka Heartbreak Hotel, aka the name of Eric’s house), and Eric is secretly and slowly getting PHASED by Jen! At this point, Barry is the only one that knows of Eric’s little crush, and frequently tells Eric to like someone else.
March 2009 – Eric knows he is about to leave for 3-5 months for a summer sales job, and got enough guts to ask Jen out again. Ate at California Pizza Kitchen, and actually had real conversations… Then found their way onto a roof-top of a beautiful home in North-East Mesa and just hung out, overlooking the whole East valley. Played a couple get-to-know-you games and laughed for hours. Eric wanted to kiss Jen so bad that night - - BUT wussed out after realizing that he’d be gone the next several months and didn’t want to ruin future chances just for some quick action. (P.S. Eric knew, after this night, that he would love to marry Jen… but wasn’t vocal to anybody about it) (P.S.S. Jen was still not into Eric, haha) After the date, Eric told his mom and Angie, word for word, "that was the best date I've ever been on."
April 16th, 2009 – October 26th, 2009 – Eric took off to do sales for 6 months… Definitely thought it would only be 3-4 months. After two months of no talking/texting/chatting, Eric and Jen randomly started texting each other in June… From June to October, they texted almost daily, and frequently were up til 3 AM (sometimes 5 AM) just… talking. (Big props to T-mobile, Verizon, and Facebook for being there all summer long). Here are some (slash a lot) of excerpts from the textual relationship over the summer…
(These are in chronological order, but several thousand are cut and/or condensed... click on them to enlarge)