We ended up cruising the parking lot of a popular dance club (Confetti's for those in the know), "looking for chicks". A red car drove by, and the four girls in it shared a few words with my friends and drove away. We soon left and headed to a nearby gas station (the Chevron at 13th East and 21st South). The red car arrived soon after, and my friends, recognizing the car, headed over and started conversing with the female occupants once more. The girls were invited to follow us to another skate spot to watch us skate.
I was still very angry, so once we arrived at the spot (the old Salt Palace parking garage), I just started skating without talking to anyone. The four girls were sitting out of the way, and whenever one of us would land a trick, the girls would applaud and cheer. This went on for a while, so I decided to go over and introduce myself, just to show that I was nice. This was when I first met Leslie Ann Spencer.
After skating a little more, I sat down for a rest and started talking to Leslie and her friends. We discovered that we had a few things in common (favorite bands, movies, lived in the same city, etc.), and we hit it off pretty good. I flirted a little by tossing small pebbles into a tiny rip in the knee of her jeans (yes, that is how I flirted, apparently). After a while, we exchanged phone numbers and went our separate ways.
To Leslie's surprise, I called her the next day (a Sunday) to see if she could get together to hang out. She declined because it was Sunday (good for her!). We probably ended up talking on the phone for a while anyway. We quickly became good friends and spent a lot of time with each other.
Leslie's friends would often ask me, "What do you think about Leslie?" I knew what the question meant: "Leslie likes you--do you like her?" I was flattered, naturally, but kept reminding myself that she was three years younger than me. After about six months of this, I realized that I should just ask Leslie out on an official date. I did, and she accepted.
Our first date was to the Spaghetti Factory in Trolley Square. We had a great time. It seemed a natural extension of our established friendship to continue dating, so we did. We dated for about two more years before I went on a mission.
We decided before I left that it would be best for Leslie to date as much as she wanted while I was gone. I wasn't concerned until the weekly letters stopped coming. I should say that having a girl back home was an enormous distraction for me, and I don't recommend it to anyone. I couldn't fully concentrate on the work of a missionary while worrying about a relationship at home. It was a stumbling block for me at times.
Regardless of this, Leslie waited for me. As my full-time mission was coming to a close, Leslie suggested that we not rush into anything when I got back and that we just see how things would progress. I reluctantly agreed. However, according to Leslie, once she saw me in person at the airport, all her feelings for me came back (naturally). I feigned shyness, and asked her out while we were still at the airport. Love took it's course, and a week later we were shopping for a ring.
I proposed to Leslie on Christmas Day, 1998, in front of her family. I will never forget her response. When she opened the box with the ring inside, after the hoots and teasing of her siblings subsided, I got down on bended knee and tenderly asked the love of my life, my forever friend, my sweetest Leslie if she would marry me. She sheepishly replied, "Yeah." Her brother-in-law then shouted, "Kiss him! Kiss him!" Leslie's response: "NO!" After some coaxing, she stood up and gave me a teeny little kiss.
After a semi-short engagement, we were married on March 11, 1999 in the Salt Lake Temple. So began the Sticht Fam.
Our official engagement photo.
It looks as if we're sharing a happy moment, but we were really talking about how cold we are!
P.D.A.! Get a room!