No, I have not decided suddenly to start changing the names of my dates on this blog to protect the innocent. Romeo’s name is actually Romeo. When I asked him why he was named that (I had to restrain myself from asking, Wherefore art thou Romeo?), he said that he wasn’t sure. It’s not a very popular name in Madagascar, where he was raised, and he didn’t think his parents were very familiar with Shakespeare. So, I think I’ll give him the award for the most awesomely appropriate name of this experience and leave it at that.
When my friend Becky texted me and told me that her friend wanted to take a date to a wedding reception, she assured me that he was “a really great man.” The day of the date, she texted me again and told me that I’d love him because he was “such a great great man.” And she was right.
Romeo had a very calm, peaceful, and cheerful way about him. He showed me a lot of respect, and even opened my door to help me both in and out of the car. We spent some time at a wedding reception for a friend who was a missionary in Madagascar and I met several of Romeo’s friends and mission presidents. It was easy to see that Romeo was well respected and liked by the other guests. After the reception, Romeo drove me to a delicious Chinese restaurant in Park City where we had dinner, and we finished the night by catching the last part of the outdoor movie showing on the lawn of the capitol building in Salt Lake.
It was a pretty lengthy date- around 5 1/2 hours together- but Romeo had such an interesting life that time passed quickly as he talked about it. He told me about life in Madagascar and his family, his conversion to the LDS church and mission to South Africa/Madagascar, going to college in Hawaii and then coming to Utah, being part of the International Guard and spending a year in Kuwait, his time in Singapore, and more. We discovered that by coincidence, he had actually met my uncle in Madagascar and had a conversation with him about dating. Then, four years later, we found ourselves on a date. What a small world.
I’m glad that I had the chance to get to know Romeo better. In fact, I’ve been pretty fortunate through this experience in general to go out with some really great guys. And while his name is appropriate, there’s far more that makes Romeo “such a great great man” as Becky suggested. To quote Juliet:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
And in Romeo’s case, I believe she is right.