This past weekend Chup and I were stuck in a traffic jam at the busy interchange of University Parkway and 2230 North. My brother in law MD won't even attempt eating in Provo on the weekends (from south Salt Lake county) because he has seen his share of weekend crowds and he won't put up with it.
While waiting to get through the light Chup and I started talking about Provo. He made his way from Twin Falls, Idaho to Provo for his freshman year at BYU. After graduating, he expected to make a move elsewhere (because like so many other students, Provo was just a temporary experience) but landed a job at the LDS Motion Picture Studios and stayed around.
"Why did you want to leave in the first place?" I asked him.
"I never thought of it as permanent." He replied.
"But why not permanent?" I asked.
This question led to the exploration of Chup's relationship with Provo. This year he will have lived in Provo for more time than he lived in Twin Falls. His childhood belongs to Idaho, but his adulthood is Utah--specifically Provo.
"I don't want to say I thought the town was self-righteous, because that is what everybody says. But it is something like that, something about Provo didn't feel comfortable."
But I think it has grown on him. Even as we sat in our car watching other carloads battle for a parking spot in front of Cafe Rio on a cool Friday night. Maybe I am the part of Provo that feels like home for him now. When he fell for me he also fell for my Provo-ness:
The way a BYU football game can alter my moods for days.
The way I pronounce certain words, like: coupon.
The way I am related to half the town.
The way I carefully cultivate self-righteousness.
I'd like to think it all has a certain charm. No matter where our lives lead us, Chup and I will always have our first date at Ottavio's and watching the wildfire on Y Mountain the summer of 2001. Yes (sigh) we will always have Provo.
Since dating, Chup and I have had this long going debate about the Worst Traffic Light in Provo. I say it is the light on the crossroads of Freedom and 800 North. He thinks it is 900 East and 900 North. But I also dislike the light on 3rd South and State Street (by the Maverick). I've often wondered if anyone else in Provo has these types of discussions?