Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The One About A Sad Love Song...

Around 3:30pm on Sunday, I woke up (from my midday nap...) to my phone's jarring ring tone. Groggily, I answered the phone and was surprised to hear from a close friend I haven't seen in a month. Fifteen minutes later, I'm enjoying Panda Express' orange chicken and catching up on the last month. We discussed work, our families and upcoming vacations. After a slightly awkward silence with which I could tell my friend was mulling over something, she decided to break the news about a relationship I had known about. For privacy reasons, let's call my friend "Lolita" (I'm a fan of the name...).

Through some random occurrences, Lolita started talking to a guy she somewhat knew in the Bay Area. Over facebook/text messaging, Lolita and "Lloyd" began a friendly relationship sharing their favorite foods, movies and dislikes. Eventually, they evolved to using Skype to discuss more personal perspectives on marriage, children and religion. Within the course of three months, Lolita and Lloyd talked almost daily. Lolita once texted (in typical dramatic fashion) Lloyd that she was so upset and wanted to die. He believed her and called clearly upset that she could even contemplate suicide. And so Lolita began thinking Lloyd had deeper feelings for her. Even more surprising, Lolita realized she truly cared for Lloyd.

Now that we're all on the same page, let's return to me eating orange chicken... I'm pouring more soy sauce on the (slightly dry) fried rice when Lolita explains her recent visit to the Bay Area. She ends up meeting up with Lloyd. Mind you reader, this is the first time they've interacted in person. While conversing delectable topics, Lloyd tells Lolita that he is trying to get back with his ex-girlfriend. KABOOM! Lloyd never mentioned this particular ex. POW! Lloyd never mentioned he still liked another girl. BAM! Lloyd never mentioned he even liked Lolita. And after taking this street fighter worthy combo, Lolita tells Lloyd that she genuinely likes him. And had the feeling he liked her too. To which Lloyd apologizes because he thought they were just friends. Agh! The dreaded f-word.... Except our heroine will not be overcome. Lolita confidently tells Lloyd that she is an amazing woman with much to offer. And he could be that special beneficiary if he chose to be. Awesome comeback!

While writing this blog, I could possible analyze gender differences in dating, distance relationships, addition of polynesian culture and other variables associated with this particular situation. But what would that lead to? How is this significant? Lolita reminded me this afternoon that she would be be back in the Bay Area this weekend to watch a broadway musical. Lolita had no intention of letting Lloyd know that she would be back in town.

Instead of only discussing this tragic love story on my blog, I decided to add myself as the protagonist. Or possibly antagonist depending on the outcome... I could not let Lolita visit the Bay Area without an attempt at a happy ending. About 15 minutes ago, I facebook messaged Lloyd telling him Lolita would be in town this weekend. I told Lloyd that I understand his platonic feelings for Lolita. Sometimes the most obvious answers are always the closest - we simply have not yet recognized it's true worth. I encouraged Lloyd to view Lolita differently this time.

Was I wrong to meddle? Possibly... But I wasn't going to be another blogger discussing why men are from mars and women are from... I think you get my point. And if you're reading this, Lolita, consider me one of those smooth djs playing Sunday night love songs. I'm a romantic at heart, spinning grooves hoping the perfect woman and the right man connect. Good luck this weekend! You know where to take me for another update...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The One About A Patient Missionary...

Two minutes ago, I listened to my cousin Lehi Kakiva announce (over speaker phone) that he's been called to serve a (LDS) service mission in New Jersey. Not gonna lie, my immediate thought was visiting him between fist pumping nights out at Jersey Shore... haha. But as I congratulated him on his call and choice to labor for our church, I was struck with how long Lehi as been attempting to serve a mission.

I first became acquainted with Lehi as he lived with our cousins in San Jose. I was living in the Bay Area and would visit frequently. Lehi was hoping to prepare for his mission while living with our cousins as his own family struggled with the church. This was in 2005. Lehi was 19.

I moved to Hawaii in 2007. Lehi was living in Maui with our Aunt. He was helping care for his grandma and working with an uncle. We talked occasionally and I continually asked about his progress towards serving a mission. He said it was his goal and was trying to save up money as a 2-year mission is costly. In 2008, I moved to Salt Lake City and Lehi followed suit months later. In fact, we lived together with our uncle. We instantly developed a brotherly bond. While living with our uncle, we cleaned and completed chores together, worked part-time jobs and cycled through various fitness regimens. I moved out two months later but continued to remain close to Lehi until he moved to Los Angeles in 2009. We kept in touch and he always spoke about going on a mission to which I joked that he would never go since so much time had passed.

I did not serve a mission. Instead, I decided to pursue an education. To this day, I have always wondered how different my life would have been had I gone a mission - an expectation for all worthy men in my church. And while I still have an opportunity to go now, I thought that my adult life did not need a two year hiatus. My career, wife and family could not wait that long. And I shared my rationale with Lehi.

Earlier this year, Lehi moved back to Hawaii with his family. He's helped them immensely, both financially and spiritually. When he called me this afternoon and that he wanted me to hear him announce his mission call, I felt incredibly proud and yet slightly ashamed for mocking his goal earlier. In the last 5 years, Lehi slowly maneuvered himself into this position. He's the turtle with the slow and steady pace. As our own choices lead us on pathways to various rewards, I know Lehi will be rewarded for his efforts. He can overcome any obstacle as a battle-tested servant. Good luck Elder Kakiva! Because I know you won't, I'll say it for you:

Told you so.