Jul 20, 2010

The Tonya Papers: Solar Smiles

Day 262

A few days ago I had an experience which instantly took me back many, many years ago before I was married and beginning to attend college. It took me back to the time when my friend Lared and I co-authored the Tonya Papers.

This experience made me seek out that old book of wisdom and I thought it would be fun to share this on the blog. Let me give you a little bit of history of what the Tonya Papers are and how they came to be. After high school and before serving my LDS mission I hung out with some great friends and one of my best friends at the time was Lared. We did everything together. We made it a point before our missions to have as much fun as we could and to date/hang out with the womenfolk as much as we could. We then would record our observations and our experiences down and that is what the Tonya Papers were. We were also like Seinfeld, we had a name for everything and everybody.

A rare glimpse into a section of the Tonya Papers

We named the Tonya Papers after a girl named Tonya. (Surprise! Surprise!) Damond introduced us to her and her roommates and we hung out with them almost exclusively until either we left on our missions or they left after school was out at Utah State. Lared liked Tonya and we thought she liked him too but we could never figure it out. It was very confusing to us and Lared wanted to figure it all out. So Lared and I would get together and talk about it all and write stuff down. And thus the Tonya Papers were born.

Yes, one of those girls is THE Tonya. But I am not going to point her out. How young does Lared and I look in this pic? In case you didn't know, we are the bottom two guys from the left starting with me.

One of the things we that we discovered and wrote about was what we called Solar Smiles. A Solar Smile was a smile that basically melts you. At the time and under normal situations, Solar Smiles typically came from cute single ladies but they can come from any girl, as long as it warms you soul. Lared and I recorded the following incident:

Lared caught a huge Solar Smile today while walking through the Institute. His legs became jelly, his heart began to beat faster and he melted to the core. I witnessed the smile myself and even though the smile was not directed or intended for me I caught the effect leaving me with a bad case of goosebumps. Nothing like receiving a Solar Smile to make your day much more brighter and warmer.
Lared and I were quite the poets and romantics back in the day. At least we thought we were. Looking back at this I am both happy that I kept such a record and I am also a little embarrassed since we were quite cheesy. Anyway, Lared and I would meet together often and talk about any Solar Smiles we had received since the last time we spoke.

My wife Kristy has a great Solar Smile. That was one of the biggest things that attracted me to her.

Solar Smiles still happen even though they do not occur as often as they did during my single college days for obvious reasons. But a few days ago I was outside and I looked over and saw one of our neighbors out walking. She noticed me but didn't say anything, she simply smiled and waved. Her smile made me feel good and brightened my day.   I look forward to the next one.

Wow. What a cheesy post!


  1. Cheesy post?! No way!! I loved it! First of all, I am absolutely fascinated with "The Tonya Papers" and I hope you'll be posting more entries. Secondly, I love the term "solar smiles" - it made me think of the times in junior high and high school when a beautiful girl would smile at me and I'd feel the hairs stand up on my arms, like I was given an electric shock! "Solar smiles" is the perfect term!